Current management of generalized pustular psoriasis

Nilesh Kodali, Isabella Blanchard, Sruthi Kunamneni, Mark G. Lebwohl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) is a rare subset of psoriasis involving episodes of sterile pustules accompanied by inflammation and, often, systemic involvement. The inflammatory nature of GPP has potential for severe multisystem complications including high-output cardiac failure, infections, digestive system issues, and disfiguring or lethal acute flare episodes. The disease tends to have higher prevalence in females and Asians. The IL-1/IL-36 inflammatory pathway is a critical facet of GPP's pathology. Genetic mutations that are associated with GPP include modifications of Interleukin 36 Receptor Antagonist (IL36RN), Caspase Recruitment Domain Family Member 14 (CARD14), Adaptor Related Protein Complex 1 Subunit Sigma 3 (AP1S3), Myeloperoxidase (MPO) and Serpin Peptidase Inhibitor Clade A Member 3 (SERPINA3) genes. Treatment guidelines for GPP are not well-entrenched. Currently, only one GPP-specific treatment, the interleukin-36 receptor antagonist (IL-36Ra) spesolimab, has been approved for use in the United States. Additional anti-IL-36 pathway therapies are currently being developed. Other treatment options include other biologic therapies such as IL-17 inhibitors, IL-23 inhibitors and TNFα inhibitors. Non-biologic therapeutic options include retinoids, cyclosporine and methotrexate. Treatment options differ throughout the world; most countries utilize retinoids, cyclosporine and methotrexate as first-line non-biologic options. China and United Kingdom have no GPP-specific biologic therapies approved for use, while several biologic therapies are approved for use in Japan. This review aims to serve as an update on the current global management of GPP while also including relevant aspects of disease pathogenesis, diagnosis, clinical presentation, histopathology, aetiology and epidemiology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Dermatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • GPP
  • IL-36
  • IL-36RN
  • IL-36Ra
  • Spesolimab
  • psoriasis
  • systemic inflammation
  • treatment
  • von Zumbusch


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