Case Report
Minocycline-induced Autoimmune Syndromes: Report of a Case and
Review of the Literature

Minocycline is commonly used in the treatment of acne vulgaris and rosacea. In recent years, its efficacyin rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was established. Cases of minocycline-induced autoimmune syndromes havebeen reported. We described the first report of a Chinese patient who developed minocycline-inducedvasculitis and performed a literature review on this topic. Physicians should be aware of this adverse effectof minocycline.
Anti-MPO, autoimmune syndromes, Minocycline, p-ANCA, vasculitis Introduction
Throughout years, cases of minocycline-induced autoimmunesyndromes have been reported. In this article, we reported a Minocycline is a semi-synthetic tetracycline with improved Chinese patient with minocycline-induced vasculitis and anti-bacterial activity, oral availability and longer half-life. It discussed on the various minocycline-induced autoimmune is commonly used to treat acne vulgaris and rosacea which often requires months to years' therapy. Apart from this, it isalso recognized as having anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, and inhibitory effects on matrix metallo- Case Report
proteinases. In recent years, it has been used as a diseasemodifying agent in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Its role is A 47-year-old Chinese lady presented in May 2000 with established by three randomized double-blinded placebo- 3-day history of fleeting polyarthralgia of the small and large controlled trials.1-4 It is found to be more effective than joints. She had a long history of rosacea with regular follow hydroxychloroquine in early seropostive RA.5 Moreover, up by the dermatologists and was maintained on 100 mg it is also used in treating Lyme disease and reactive minocycline daily for 10 years. In the recent year, she noticed to have reticular skin rash over her limbs with Raynaud'sphenomenon and numbness over her ankles. Apart from livedo Minocycline is generally considered a safe drug.7 Reported reticularis (Figure 1), physical examination was unremarkable.
adverse effects include gastrointestinal toxicity, nephritis, She was afebrile with no signs of active arthritis.
vestibular symptoms, skin hyperpigmentation, intracranialhypertension, photosensitivity, rashes, eosinophilia, fever, Initial investigations showed normochromic normocytic hypersensitivity pneumonitis and toxic hepatitis.7,8 anaemia with hemoglobin (Hgb) level of 10.6 g/dL anderythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) of 64 mm/hr. Albuminwas 33 g/dL and globulin was 57 g/dL with a polyclonal increase in globulin. Renal and liver functions were normal.
Urine protein was negative. Rheumatoid factor was negative OSPITAL, LAI CHI KOK, KOWLOON, HONG KONG SAR
and antinuclear antibody (ANA) was 1:160. Anti-dsDNA and anti-extractable nuclear antigen (anti-ENA) were negative.
Complements (C3 and C4) were normal. Perinuclear- antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (p-ANCA) was positive showed demyelination and axonal degeneration with nodefinite vasculitis. She started to develop Raynaud'sphenomenon of her toes and an increase in the extent of livedoreticularis. As minocycline had been stopped for 4 monthsand there were persistent symptoms, prednisolone wascommenced at a dose of 0.5 mg/kg/day.
She responded partially to steroid treatment with animprovement in ankle movement. Steroid dose was graduallytailed down. The biochemical and serological markersgradually normalized (ESR 7 mm/hr, Hgb 12.1 g/dL, albumin/globulin 46/36 g/dL and anti-MPO turned negative). Herneuralgic pain improved slowly but numbness of the feet andlivedo reticularis persisted.
Our patient illustrates a case of minocycline-induced vasculitiswith polyarthralgia, livedo reticularis, peripheral neuropathy,positive ANA, anti-MPO and aCL antibodies.
Minocycline-induced autoimmune syndromes can becategorized into 4 types, namely minocycline-induced serumsickness, minocycline-induced lupus, minocycline-induced Figure 1.
autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and minocycline-inducedvasculitis. The clinical and serological features of the separate with elevated anti-myeloperoxidase (anti-MPO) level of 30 syndromes may overlap.8 Minocycline-induced lupus and U/ml (normal <5). Cryoglobulin was negative. Anti- hepatitis are the most common events. On reviewing the cardiolipin antibodies (aCL) were elevated with IgG 34 GPL/ literature, over 60 cases of minocycline-induced lupus and ml (normal <15) and IgM 33 MPL/ml (normal <12.5). Lupus 24 cases of minocycline-induced AIH have been reported. In 13 cases, both syndromes coexist.6 Except for serum sickness,which presents shortly (mean 16 days) after minocycline, the Minocycline was stopped. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory other autoimmune syndromes manifest after prolonged use drug was given for arthralgia. Skin biopsy performed on her right thigh showed features of leucocytoclastic vasculitis.
Immunofluorescence was negative. She was put on aspirin Minocycline-induced Serum Sickness
and persantin as suggested by the dermatologist.
Clinical features include fever, arthralgia, lymphadenopathyand urticarial rash a few days after starting minocycline. This On follow up 4 weeks later, she had no more arthralgia but condition is self-limiting and symptoms subside soon after still complained of numbness of her feet. Physical examination reviewed loss of pinprick sensation on the dorsum of her feet.
Propioception was intact. Diminished muscle power was noted Minocycline-induced Lupus
on dorsiflexion and plantar flexion of both feet.
This is the commonest entity. It is defined as a syndrome withat least one clinical feature of systemic lupus erythematosus Nerve conduction study showed combined motor and sensory (SLE), positive ANA together with circumstantial association peripheral neuropathy. Sural nerve biopsy was performed and between the use of drug and development of clinical and serological features. It has been estimated that minocycline is persistent decline in p-ANCA and anti-MPO supported a associated with an 8.5 fold increased risk of developing a cause-effect relation.14 In 2 case series, patients developed lupus-like syndrome.9 It can cause disease exacerbation in recurrence of symptoms soon after rechallenge with cases of probable SLE. It occurs more frequently in female (female to male ratio = 8:1) suggesting that male sex mightpossess protective factor.10 Most patients remit within few Diagnosis of the condition is difficult. There is a great days after drug withdrawal, a few need a short course of variability in time course of development among reported corticosteroid. There was a case report of death from cases, and there are no confirmatory test. Clues to diagnosis rely on a temporal association between the use of drug andthe development of clinical/serological features supported by Minocycline-induced Autolimmune Hepatitis (AIH)
resolution upon drug cessation. Relapse on rechallenge further Patients develop variable degree of elevated serum transaminases (2-10 fold) which usually normalize within 3months after drug cessation.9 Serum level of alkaline Elkayam et al. confirmed that p-ANCA characterized phosphatase is usually normal. In the literature, one patient minocycline-induced vasculitis syndrome and seemed to be died with severe hepatitis and another required liver more common than ANA.9 Association of ANCA with drug- induced diseases has been reported for procainamide,hydralazine, anti-thyroid drug and penicillamine.15 These Thirteen cases have been reported to have coexisting drugs share a common metabolic transformation to cytotoxic minocycline-induced lupus and minocycline-induced AIH.6 metabolites that depends on exposure to myeloperoxidase They all presented with symmetrical polyarthralgia/ activity of activated neutrophils.16 The cytotoxic capacity polyarthritis. More than half had fever, weight loss, malaise gained by the reactive intermediate leads to immune and rash. Two had extra-articular/extra-hepatic involvement dysregulation that may eventually culminate in an with Hashimoto thyroiditis and peripheral neuropathy. All autoimmune syndrome. Minocycline shares the capacity to patients had positive ANA predominantly homogenous pattern. Acute phase reactants were elevated. Majority of themhad rapid remission after drug cessation but one patient Genetic factors have also been postulated for the development required a 2-year course of immunosuppressive therapy.
of p-ANCA associated immune phenomenon. Four out of 6patients in a Israel series had HLA-DRB1*1104 as compared Minocylcine-induced Vasculitis
to a frequency of 12% in general Israel population. It may Common presentations include fever, arthralgia, symmetrical represent a genetic susceptibility marker of minocycline polyarthritis, cutaneous (livedo reticularis and subcutaneous associated immune phenomenon in Israel patients.9 Recent nodules), renal and hepatic involvement. A common studies have reported an association with HLA-DR4.18 serological marker is high titer of p-ANCA and the presenceof anti-MPO.
In contrast to 'classic drug-induced lupus' in which antihistoneantibodies are present in more than 95% of patients,19 this Thirteen cases (3 male and 10 female) have been reported.12 antibody is seldom reported in minocycline-induced There was no mortality. Their age ranged from 15 to 35 with autoimmune disease. On the other hand, elevated levels of duration of drug exposure ranging from 9 days to 9 months.
anti-cardiolipin antibodies have been reported.9,13 Average daily dose was 100 mg. In 3 cases, vasculitis occurredafter minocycline was renewed with previous uneventful Use of minocycline for treatment of RA was established course. A 15-year-old girl developed polyarteritis nodosa in randomized controlled trials.1-4 There was no report of (PAN) with livedo reticularis, diffuse myalgia and arthralgia.
minocycline-induced autoimmune syndrome among the Skin biopsy demonstrated small and medium sized vasculitis 345 RA patients in the trials. In a small study, two out of 30 RA patients developed unexplained hepatitis thatresolved on withdrawal of treatment.11 There was one case Eleven patients had complete resolution of symptom after drug report of minocycline-induced lupus-like syndrome in RA cessation while 2 required a course of prednisone. Slow but It is difficult to diagnose drug-induced autoimmune Gordon MM, Porter D. Minocycline induced lupus: case phenomenon in RA patients as elevated ESR and series in the West of Scotland. J Rheumatol 2001;28: polyarthralgia/polyarthritis may reflect disease activity. New Elkayam O, Yaron M, Caspi D. Minocycline-induced rheumatic symptoms, newly emerged ANA and the absence autoimmune syndromes: an overview. Semin Arthritis Rheum of elevated C-reactive protein warrant a high suspicion for patients taking long-term minocycline. To make the issue more Elkayam O, Levartovsky D, Brautbar C, et al. Clinical and complicated, minocycline was found to be effective in treating immunological study of 7 patients with minocycline-induced RA-related leucocytoclastic vasculitis.21 Additional clinical autoimmune phenomena. Am J Med 1998;105:484-7.
research is needed to document the long-term efficacy: toxicity Masson C, Chevailler A, Pascaretti C, Legrand E, Bregeon C,Audran M. Minocycline related lupus. J Rheumatol 1996;23: Gough A, Chapman S, Wagstaff K, Emery P, Elias E.
Minocycline induced autoimmune hepatitis and systemic lupus Conclusions
erythematosus-like syndrome. BMJ 1996;312:169-72.
ten Holder SM, Joy MS, Falk RJ. Cutaneous and systemic Minocycline is increasingly used in the treatment of rheumatic manifestations of drug-induced vasculitis. Ann Pharmacother diseases and side effects are going to be encountered more Schrodt BJ, Callen JP. Polyarteritis nodosa attributable to frequently. It is advisable to perform periodic liver function minocycline treatment for acne vulgaris. Pediatrics 1999;103: tests and ANA accompanied with clinical surveillance for patients on long-term minocycline.23 Patients should be Elkayam O, Yaron M, Caspi D. Minocycline induced arthritis informed of these rare but potentially serious adverse effects, associated with fever, livedo reticularis, and pANCA. Ann and if happen, they should be advised to avoid all tetracycline since information on potential cross-reactivity is not available.24 Merkel PA. Drug associated with vasculitis. Curr Opin Rechallenge of the drug is not recommended given a large Jiang X, Khursigara G, Rubin RL. Transformation of lupus- number of alternative treatment options available.
inducing drugs to cytotoxic products by activated neutrophils.
Science 1994;266:810-3.
McHugh NJ, Dunphy J, Rands A, Hill C. Antimyeloperoxidase References
antibodies in minocycline induced lupus syndrome andmyeloperoxidase independent drug toxicity. Arthritis Rheum Kloppenburg M, Breedveld FC, Terwiel JP, Mallee C, Dijkmans BA. Minocycline in active rheumatoid arthritis. A Dunphy J, Oliver M, Rands AL, Lovell CR, McHugh NJ.
double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum 1994; Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies and HLA class II alleles in minocycline-induced lupus-like syndrome. Br J Dermatol Tilley BC, Alarcon GS, Heyse SP, et al. Minocycline in rheumatoid arthritis. A 48-week, double-blind, placebo- Dubois EL, Wallace DJ. Drugs that exacerbate and induce controlled trial. MIRA Trial Group. Ann Intern Med 1995; systemic lupus erythematosus. Lea and Febiger, 5th ed.
O'Dell JR, Haire CE, Palmer W, et al. Treatment of early Marzo-Ortega H, Misbah S, Emery P. Minocycline induced rheumatoid arthritis with minocycline or placebo: results of a autoimmune disease in rheumatoid arthritis: a missed randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis diagnosis? J Rheumatol 2001;28:377-8.
Houck HE, Kauffman CL, Casey DL. Minocycline treatment O'Dell JR, Paulsen G, Haire CE, et al. Treatment of early for leukocytoclastic vasculitis associated with rheumatoid seropositive rheumatoid arthritis with minocycline: four-year arthritis. Arch Dermatol 1997;133:15-6.
followup of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Griffiths B, Gough A, Emery P. Minocycline-induced autoimmune disease: comment on the editorial by Breedveld.
O'Dell JR, Blakely KW, Mallek JA, et al. Treatment of early seropositive rheumatoid arthritis: a two-year, double-blind Angulo JM, Sigal LH, Espinoza LR. Minocycline induced comparison of minocycline and hydroxychloroquine. Arthritis lupus and autoimmune hepatitis. J Rheumatol 1999;26: Angulo JM, Sigal LH, Espinoza LR. Coexistent minocycline- Knowles SR, Shapiro L, Shear NH. Serious adverse reactions induced systemic lupus erythematosus and autoimmune induced by minocycline. Report of 13 patients and review of hepatitis. Semin Arthritis Rheum 1998;28:187-92.
the literature. Arch Dermatol 1996;132:934-9.

Source: http://www.rheumatology.org.hk/database/publication/2002vol2no2p7477.pdf


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