Peer-Reviewed Publication

A structured review of the burden of illness of palmoplantar pustulosis

The clinical, humanistic, and economic burden of palmoplantar pustulosis: a structured review

Saifuddin Kharawala, Amanda K. Golembesky, Rhonda L. Bohn, Dirk Esser


Introduction: Palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP) is a chronic, relapsing and refractory disease characterized by sterile pustules appearing on the palms and/or soles, accompanied by erythema, blistering, scales and/or keratinization. The overall burden of PPP in terms of its clinical impact, effect on patients and families, and economic consequences has not previously been investigated in a structured manner.

Areas covered: A structured search focused on identification of studies in PPP using specific search terms in PubMed and EMBASE from 2005 onwards, with additional back-referencing and pragmatic searches. Outcomes of interest included clinical burden, humanistic burden, and economic burden.

Expert opinion: In cross-sectional studies, approximately 75% of all PPP patients suffer from active disease, with risk of relapse remaining constant over time. Patients’ health-related quality of life is significantly impaired, as expected for a disease affecting hands and feet. Tools have been described that assess the clinical as well as patient-reported burden of PPP; their performance in larger cohorts and/or clinical trials remains to be investigated. The key data limitations identified include inconsistent definitions for characterizing remission/relapse, and limited humanistic and economic burden data; future studies are required to address these evidence gaps.