Publications by authors named "Margot Chima"

14 Publications

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Analysis of alopecia areata surveys suggests a threshold for improved patient-reported outcomes.

Br J Dermatol 2022 Jun 3. Epub 2022 Jun 3.

Department of Dermatology, and Laboratory of Inflammatory Skin Diseases, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Although alopecia areata (AA) greatly impacts patients' quality of life (QoL), there is no adequate validation of AA-targeted QoL surveys in clinical trials, hindering sufficient representation of patient-reported outcomes.

Objectives: Better understanding of patient-reported outcomes may guide treatment goals and future clinical trials.

Methods: In a recent randomized controlled trial testing dupilumab in AA, patients were administered the Alopecia Areata Quality of Life Index (AA-QLI) and the Alopecia Areata Symptom Impact Scale (AASIS) surveys, specifically evaluating QoL in patients with AA. An in-depth analysis was performed to assess the utility of these questionnaires in this patient population, both at baseline and after treatment, and to determine a threshold for improved patient-reported outcomes.

Results: While AASIS correlated with baseline Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) scores and with therapeutic response, AA-QLI showed no correlation with AA severity before or after treatment. Itch strongly correlated with serum IgE levels across both surveys. Using various approaches to estimate a discriminative threshold for decreased impact of AA on QoL (by AASIS) following treatment, a SALT score of 20 points or less post-treatment was associated with improved patient-reported outcomes, including both AA-related symptoms and items within the daily activities/feelings domain such as 'feeling sad' and 'feeling anxious or worry'.

Conclusions: AASIS is better than AA-QLI to assess patient-reported outcomes. SALT ≤ 20 following treatment should be considered as a threshold for meaningful therapeutic outcome and as a clinical endpoint in future clinical trials for AA. What is already known about this topic? Alopecia areata greatly compromises quality of life, and affected patients have increased prevalences of depression, anxiety and social phobia. Despite the significant negative impact of the disease on patients' wellbeing, validation of targeted questionnaires in alopecia areata is lacking, and a therapeutic response threshold for improved patient-reported outcomes is unknown. What does this study add? This study investigated the utility of two different alopecia areata-targeted questionnaires - Alopecia Areata Quality of Life Index and Alopecia Areata Symptom Impact Scale (AASIS) - in a clinical trial setting. AASIS was found to correlate strongly with alopecia areata severity and clinical response. What are the clinical implications of this work? Patients with ≤ 20% scalp hair loss after treatment reported improvement in multiple quality-of-life items, suggesting this as a meaningful therapeutic outcome that may guide clinicians and improve the development of future clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjd.21696DOI Listing
June 2022

Distinct skin microbiome community structures in congenital ichthyosis.

Br J Dermatol 2022 May 28. Epub 2022 May 28.

A*STAR Skin Research Labs, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, 8A Biomedical Grove, #06-10 Immunos, Singapore, 138648, Singapore.

Background: The ichthyoses are rare genetic keratinizing disorders that share the characteristics of an impaired epidermal barrier and increased risk of microbial infections. Although ichthyotic diseases share a T helper (Th) 17 cell immune signature, including increased expression of antimicrobial peptides, the skin microbiota of ichthyoses is virtually unexplored.

Objectives: To analyse the metagenome profile of skin microbiome for major congenital ichthyosis subtypes.

Methods: Body site-matched skin surface samples were collected from the scalp, upper arm and upper buttocks of 16 healthy control participants and 22 adult patients with congenital forms of ichthyosis for whole metagenomics sequencing analysis.

Results: Taxonomic profiling showed significant shifts in bacteria and fungi abundance and sporadic viral increases across ichthyosis subtypes. Cutibacterium acnes and Malassezia were significantly reduced across body sites, consistent with skin barrier disruption and depletion of lipids. Microbial richness was reduced, with specific increases in Staphylococcus and Corynebacterium genera, as well as shifts in fungal species, including Malassezia. Malassezia globosa was reduced at all body sites, whereas M. sympodialis was reduced in the ichthyotic upper arm and upper buttocks. Malassezia slooffiae, by contrast, was strikingly increased at all body sites in participants with congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (CIE) and lamellar ichthyosis (LI). A previously undescribed Trichophyton species was also detected as sporadically colonizing the skin of patients with CIE, LI and epidermolytic ichthyosis subtypes.

Conclusions: The ichthyosis skin microbiome is significantly altered from healthy skin with specific changes predominating among ichthyosis subtypes. Skewing towards the Th17 pathway may represent a response to the altered microbial colonization in ichthyosis. What is already known about this topic? The skin microbiome of congenital ichthyoses is largely unexplored. Microbes play an important role in pathogenesis, as infections are common. The relative abundances of staphylococci and corynebacteria is increased in the cutaneous microbiome of patients with Netherton syndrome, but extension of these abundances to all congenital ichthyoses is unexplored. What does this study add? A common skin microbiome signature was observed across congenital ichthyoses. Distinct microbiome features were associated with ichthyosis subtypes. Changes in microbiome may contribute to T helper 17 cell immune polarization. What is the translational message? These data provide the basis for comparison of the microbiome with lipidomic and transcriptomic alterations in these forms of ichthyosis and consideration of correcting the dysbiosis as a therapeutic intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjd.21687DOI Listing
May 2022

Apremilast and narrowband ultraviolet B combination therapy suppresses Th17 axis and promotes melanogenesis in vitiligo skin: a randomized, split-body, pilot study in skin types IV-VI.

Arch Dermatol Res 2022 Mar 13. Epub 2022 Mar 13.

Department of Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai, New York, NY, 10029, USA.

Improved repigmentation of generalized vitiligo in skin types IV-VI has been reported in clinical response to combined therapy with apremilast and narrowband (NB)-UVB; however, tissue responses to combined therapy versus NB-UVB monotherapy have not been elucidated. We compared the change from baseline in cellular and molecular markers in vitiligo skin after combined therapy versus NB-UVB monotherapy. We assessed lesional and nonlesional skin samples from enrolled subjects and evaluated for immune infiltrates, inflammatory, and melanogenesis-related markers which were compared across different treatment groups. Combined therapy resulted in significant reduction of CD8T cells and CD11c dendritic cells, downregulation of PDE4B and Th17-related markers, and upregulation of melanogenesis markers. This study was limited to small sample size, skin types IV-VI, and high dropout rate. Our molecular findings support the clinical analysis that apremilast may potentiate NB-UVB in repigmentation of generalized vitiligo in skin types IV-VI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00403-022-02343-1DOI Listing
March 2022

Refractory Dissecting Cellulitis of the Scalp Treated With Risankizumab.

J Drugs Dermatol 2022 Mar;21(3):313-314

Perifolliculitis capitis abscedens et suffodiens or dissecting cellulitis (DC) is a rare and chronic disease with a predilection for the occipital, vertex, and parietal scalp. DC is characterized by multinodular lesions with purulent drainage and sinus tract formation. It is classically seen in middle-aged males of African descent. The etiology of the disease is unknown; however, leading theories suggest that stasis associated with follicular occlusion begets bacterial infection and follicular destruction with a subsequent granulomatous and neutrophilic response.1 This is supported by the suppurative nature of the disease and its association with acne conglobota, pilonidal cysts, and hidradenitis suppurativa. These conditions are thought to have a shared etiology and are also widely accepted as being due to follicular occlusion.1 The approach to treatment of DC is varied as there is no current consensus on management. We present the case of risankizumab, an IL-23 inhibitor, used to successfully treat DC. J Drugs Dermatol. 2022;21(3): doi:10.36849/JDD.6699.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.36849/JDD.6699DOI Listing
March 2022

Secukinumab responses vary across the spectrum of congenital ichthyosis in adults.

Arch Dermatol Res 2022 Feb 26. Epub 2022 Feb 26.

Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.

Importance: Treatment of congenital ichthyoses primarily focuses on reversing skin scaling and is not pathogenesis based. Recent studies showed Th17 immune skewing, as in psoriasis, across the spectrum of ichthyosis, suggesting that targeting this pathway might broadly reduce disease severity.

Objective: To determine whether secukinumab, an IL-17A inhibitor, can improve ichthyosis across several congenital ichthyosis subtypes.

Design: Exploratory 16-week double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial comparing secukinumab 300 mg every 4wks to placebo (1:1 randomization) in adults with the four major congenital ichthyosis subtypes (NCT03041038), followed by a 16-week open-label phase to evaluate response of the placebo-first group and a 20-week extension for safety. Significant differences in secukinumab- vs. placebo-treated subjects at Wk16 in the Ichthyosis Area Severity Index (IASI) score and lack of increased mucocutaneous bacterial and/or fungal infections were the co-primary efficacy and safety endpoints, respectively.

Setting: Two tertiary referral centers: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, New York.

Participants: Twenty subjects ≥ 18 yo with genotype-confirmed epidermolytic ichthyosis, Netherton syndrome, lamellar ichthyosis, or congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma with at least moderate erythroderma.

Results: IL-17A inhibition did not significantly reduce severity or increase mucocutaneous infections among the 18 who completed the 16-week double-blind phase. Five patients with 29-50% clinical improvement at Wk32 requested drug continuation. Th17-related biomarkers were not significantly reduced vs. baseline or placebo-treated levels.

Limitations: Small sample size; heterogeneous ichthyosis subsets.

Conclusion: IL-17 inhibition with secukinumab is safe, but not efficacious across the spectrum of adult ichthyoses. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Registration Number: NCT03041038; first posted on 02/02/2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00403-022-02325-3DOI Listing
February 2022

Phase 2a randomized clinical trial of dupilumab (anti-IL-4Rα) for alopecia areata patients.

Allergy 2022 03 6;77(3):897-906. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology, Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Treatments for alopecia areata (AA) patients with extensive scalp hair loss are limited, and recent evidence supports a role for type 2 T-cell (Th2)-immune response in AA. Dupilumab, a monoclonal antibody inhibiting Th2 signaling, approved for type 2 diseases including atopic dermatitis, was evaluated in AA patients.

Methods: Alopecia areata patients with and without concomitant atopic dermatitis were randomized 2:1 to receive weekly subcutaneous dupilumab (300 mg) or placebo for 24 weeks, followed by another 24-week dupilumab open-label phase. The primary outcome was change from baseline in the Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) score at week 24; secondary outcomes included a range of measures of hair regrowth.

Results: Forty and 20 patients were assigned to the dupilumab and placebo arms, respectively. At week 24, disease worsening was documented in the placebo arm, with a least-squares mean change in the SALT score of -6.5 (95% confidence-interval [CI], -10.4 to -2.6), versus a change of 2.2 (95% CI, -0.6 to 4.94) in the dupilumab arm (p < .05). After 48 weeks of dupilumab treatment, 32.5%, 22.5% and 15% of patients achieved SALT /SALT /SALT improvement, respectively, while in patients with baseline IgE ≥ 200 IU/ml response rates increased to 53.8%, 46.2%, and 38.5%, respectively. Moreover, baseline IgE predicts treatment response with 83% accuracy. No new safety signals were detected.

Conclusions: This hypothesis-driven trial is the first to indicate the possible pathogenic role of the Th2 axis and Th2 targeting in AA patients. Patient selection based on baseline serum IgE levels may improve treatment results (Clinicaltrials.gov number, NCT03359356).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15071DOI Listing
March 2022

Wound Healing Treatments After Ablative Laser Skin Resurfacing: A Review.

J Drugs Dermatol 2020 Nov;19(11):1050-1055

Laser resurfacing has progressed since the 1980s to treat a variety of medical and aesthetic indications with ever-evolving safety parameters. While laser technology has evolved to provide a more favorable safety profile and decrease wound healing time, advances in post-procedure healing agents have also helped to mitigate adverse effects, such as persistent erythema, dyspigmentation, acneiform eruptions, dermatitis, infections, and scarring. We reviewed the evidence of growth factors, stem cells, silicone and silicone polymers, botanical based treatments, fatty acids, probiotics, and closed dressings on post-ablative laser skin resurfacing. All reviewed agents demonstrated some evidence in improving post-procedure outcomes, albeit mixed in many cases. Additionally, these studies contain small numbers of participants, vary in type, strength, and clinical indication for which the resurfacing laser was used, and have differing postprocedural evaluation protocols and assessments. This highlights a need for standardization of clinical studies and the importance of choosing an optimal postprocedural skincare plan depending on every unique clinical scenario. J Drugs Dermatol. 2020;19(11):1050-1055. doi:10.36849/JDD.2020.5386.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.36849/JDD.2020.5386DOI Listing
November 2020

Phase 2 randomized, double-blind study of IL-17 targeting with secukinumab in atopic dermatitis.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2021 01 16;147(1):394-397. Epub 2020 May 16.

Department of Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY; Immunology Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY; Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2020.04.055DOI Listing
January 2021

Crisaborole 2% ointment for the treatment of intertriginous, anogenital, and facial psoriasis: A double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled trial.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2020 Feb 3;82(2):360-365. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Department of Dermatology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York. Electronic address:

Background: Psoriasis of the intertriginous, anogenital, and facial regions remains a therapeutic challenge, with current algorithms lacking a topical agent that exhibits both high efficacy and minimal side effects.

Objective: To assess the safety and efficacy of crisaborole 2% ointment-a nonsteroidal phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor-in the treatment of intertriginous, anogenital, and facial psoriasis.

Methods: A double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled trial was conducted in 21 participants. Participants were randomized 2:1 to receive 4 weeks of twice-daily treatment with either crisaborole 2% ointment (n = 14) or vehicle ointment (n = 7), followed by 4 weeks of open-label treatment with crisaborole 2% ointment. Disease severity was measured by using the Target Lesion Severity Scale (TLSS).

Results: After 4 weeks, participants in the crisaborole group demonstrated 66% improvement compared with 9% in the vehicle group (P = .0011). Participants in the crisaborole group continued to experience improvement through the open-label phase, demonstrating 81% lesional improvement by week 8, with 71% of these participants achieving clinical clearance. There were no adverse events.

Limitations: The study was limited to a single tertiary care center and small sample size.

Conclusion: Treatment with crisaborole 2% ointment was well-tolerated and led to clinical improvement in participants with intertriginous, anogenital, or facial psoriasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2019.06.1288DOI Listing
February 2020

Brodalumab in the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis in patients when previous anti-interleukin 17A therapies have failed.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2019 09 10;81(3):857-859. Epub 2019 May 10.

Department of Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2019.05.007DOI Listing
September 2019

Blood endotyping distinguishes the profile of vitiligo from that of other inflammatory and autoimmune skin diseases.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2019 06 18;143(6):2095-2107. Epub 2018 Dec 18.

Department of Dermatology and the Immunology Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Electronic address:

Background: Peripheral blood skin-homing/cutaneous lymphocyte antigen (CLA) T cells emerge as biomarkers of cutaneous immune activation in patients with inflammatory skin diseases (atopic dermatitis [AD] and alopecia areata [AA]). However, blood phenotyping across these subsets is not yet available in patients with vitiligo.

Objective: We sought to measure cytokine production by circulating skin-homing (CLA) versus systemic (CLA) "polar" CD4/CD8 ratio and activated T-cell subsets in patients with vitiligo compared with patients with AA, AD, or psoriasis and control subjects.

Methods: Flow cytometry was used to measure levels of the cytokines IFN-γ, IL-13, IL-9, IL-17, and IL-22 in CD4/CD8 T cells in the blood of 19 patients with moderate-to-severe nonsegmental/generalized vitiligo, moderate-to-severe AA (n = 32), psoriasis (n = 24), or AD (n = 43) and control subjects (n = 30). Unsupervised clustering differentiated subjects into groups based on cellular frequencies.

Results: Patients with Vitiligo showed the highest CLA/CLA T1/type 1 cytotoxic T-cell polarization, with parallel T2/T9/T17/T22 level increases to levels often greater than those seen in patients with AA, AD, or psoriasis (P < .05). Total regulatory T-cell counts were lower in patients with vitiligo than in control subjects and patients with AD or psoriasis (P < .001). Vitiligo severity correlated with levels of multiple cytokines (P < .1), whereas duration was linked with IFN-γ and IL-17 levels (P < .04). Patients and control subjects grouped into separate clusters based on blood biomarkers.

Conclusions: Vitiligo is characterized by a multicytokine polarization among circulating skin-homing and systemic subsets, which differentiates it from other inflammatory/autoimmune skin diseases. Future targeted therapies should delineate the relative contribution of each cytokine axis to disease perpetuation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2018.11.031DOI Listing
June 2019

TNF inhibitors for psoriasis.

Semin Cutan Med Surg 2018 Sep;37(3):134-142

Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman Department of Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α has been identified as a key cytokine mediating cutaneous inflammation in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. The TNF inhibitors (TNFi's) infliximab, adalimumab, and etanercept are efficacious, Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Each drug has a unique pharmacological profile that can have therapeutic implications when choosing a particular TNFi for a patient. An understanding of these idiosyncrasies can help guide therapeutic decisions for patients with psoriasis that also have inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, latent tuberculosis, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and heart failure. It can also help when selecting the right treatment for pregnant patients, children and adolescents, or those with insurance constraints or compliance issues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12788/j.sder.2018.039DOI Listing
September 2018

Does student performance on preclinical OSCEs relate to clerkship grades?

Med Educ Online 2016 22;21:31724. Epub 2016 Jun 22.

Curriculum and Educational Research Office, The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.

Background: Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) have been used to assess the clinical competence and interpersonal skills of healthcare professional students for decades. However, the relationship between preclinical (second year or M2) OSCE grades and clerkship performance had never been evaluated, until it was explored to provide information to educators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). In addition, the relationship between M2 OSCE communication scores (which is a portion of the total score) and third-year (M3) Internal Medicine (IM) clerkship OSCE scores was also explored. Lastly, conflicting evidence exists about the relationship between the amount of previous clinical experience and OSCE performance. Therefore, the relationship between M3 IM clerkship OSCE scores and the timing of the clerkship in the academic year was explored.

Methods: Data from UNMC M2 OSCEs and M3 IM clerkship OSCEs were obtained for graduates of the 2013 and 2014 classes. Specifically, the following data points were collected: M2 fall OSCE total, M2 fall OSCE communication; M2 spring OSCE total, M2 spring OSCE communication; and M3 IM clerkship OSCE total percentages. Data were organized by class, M3 IM clerkship OSCE performance, and timing of the clerkship. Microsoft Excel and SPSS were used for data organization and analysis.

Results: Of the 245 records, 229 (93.5%) had data points for all metrics of interest. Significant differences between the classes of 2013 and 2014 existed for average M2 spring total, M2 spring communication, and M3 IM clerkship OSCEs. Retrospectively, there were no differences in M2 OSCE performances based on how students scored on the M3 IM clerkship OSCE. M3 IM clerkship OSCE performance improved for those students who completed the clerkship last in the academic year.

Conclusions: There were inconsistencies in OSCE performances between the classes of 2013 and 2014, but more information is needed to determine if this is because of testing variability or heterogeneity from class to class. Although there were no differences in preclinical scores based on M3 IM clerkship OSCE scores, students would benefit from a longitudinal review of their OSCE performance over their medical training. Additionally, students may benefit from more reliable and valid forms of assessing communication. In general, students who take the IM clerkship last in the academic year performed better on the required OSCE. More information is needed to determine why this is seen only at the end of the year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/meo.v21.31724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4919367PMC
July 2017
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