Department of Dermatology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1, Ten-nodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan
Severe local skin reactions to subcutaneous injection of interferon beta-1b in multiple sclerosis are rare, and only 12 cases of severe skin reaction due to interferon beta-1b have been reported to date. We report two cases of severe skin reactions in multiple sclerosis patients following the injection of subcutaneous interferon beta-1b. In case 1, after five years of treatment, a painful indurated erythematous lesion appeared at the injection site on the left buttock. On histological analysis, the lesion showed septal and lobular panniculitis with lymphocytic infiltration. In case 2, cutaneous ulceration was surrounded by painful induration, which developed at the injection site on the right thigh after four years of treatment. The lesions resolved rapidly after discontinuation of interferon beta-1b treatment in both cases. Here, we review cases of similar lesions caused by interferon beta-1b reported in the literature, and discuss the characteristics, mechanism, treatment, and prevention of such lesions.