Journal Scan: Studying the studies: A review of evidence from trials evaluating atopic dermatitis therapies
What they did
What they found
No therapy was designated as high quality. Evidence of the efficacy of topical and oral glucocorticoids (0.5 mg/kg once to twice daily and tapered to effect) and oral microemulsified cyclosporine (Atopica—Novartis Animal Health; 5 mg/kg once daily and tapered to effect) was graded as moderate quality.
Data from randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of generic microemulsified cyclosporine, a nano-emulsion cyclosporine formulation, injectable recombinant feline interferon and canine interferon, oral fexofenadine, and oral masitinib for the treatment of atopic dermatitis were determined to be of low quality.
Only very low quality evidence was found for the use of synthetic T-cell receptor V-beta peptides, tepoxalin, Trichuris vulpis eggs, single mite allergen immunotherapy, pentoxifylline, and black currant seed oil. A randomized controlled trial of a diet rich in essential fatty acids (Atopic Care—Afﬁnity Petcare) provided low-quality evidence of a glucocorticoid-sparing effect when used in dogs with atopic dermatitis.
The authors acknowledge that many of the randomized controlled trials had very low numbers of subjects, which may make it difficult to detect smaller treatment effects. In addition, use of modified or unpublished severity scales as well as the variable outcome measures used made standardization difficult.
Olivry T, Bizikova P. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials for prevention or treatment of atopic dermatitis in dogs: 2008-2011 update. Vet Dermatol 2013;24(1):97-117.