Improvement of head and neck symptoms in patients with atopic dermatitis treated with baricitinib based on five Phase III clinical trials

Andreas Wollenberg, Peter Lio, Elise Kleyn, Robert Bissonnette, Maria Jose Rueda, Marta Casillas, Yun Fei Chen, Na Lu, Andrea Schloebe, Eric Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: In adults with atopic dermatitis (AD), head and/or neck involvement is frequent, bothersome, and impacts quality of life, however, long-term topical corticosteroids (TCS) are contraindicated for this difficult-to-treat region. Baricitinib, an oral, selective, reversible inhibitor of Janus kinase 1/2 has demonstrated efficacy in adult patients with moderate-to-severe AD. Objectives: For this post hoc analysis, data from five Phase III trials were used to investigate the efficacy of baricitinib in patients with head and neck involvement. Materials & Methods: Data were obtained from BREEZE-AD1, -AD2, -AD4, -AD5, and -AD7; Phase III, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies conducted in patients ≥18 years with moderate-to-severe AD. BREEZE-AD1, -AD2, and -AD5 evaluated baricitinib as monotherapy, and BREEZE-AD4 and -AD7 evaluated baricitinib in combination with TCS, topical calcineurin inhibitors, or topical PDE-4 inhibitors, where available. The proportion of patients with improvement of Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) total score from baseline of ≥50% (EASI50) and ≥75% (EASI75), as well as head/neck EASI50 and EASI75 and erythema head/neck EASI50 and EASI75 response rates were assessed up to Week 16. Results: Across the studies, 93–98% of patients had head/neck involvement at baseline (EASI head/neck score ≥1). Baricitinib was similarly effective based on EASI total score for the entire body in all studies. In the monotherapy studies, the proportion of patients achieving head/neck EASI50 and EASI75 scores was significantly higher for baricitinib 2-mg and 4-mg versus placebo at Weeks 1 and 16. Conclusion: Baricitinib 2-mg and 4-mg treatment showed rapid and substantial reduction in AD head and neck severity, including erythema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-529
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • atopic dermatitis
  • erythema
  • head and neck


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