[Hydroxyurea-induced leg ulcers in patients with chronic myeloproliferative disorders].Ugeskr Laeger. 2001 Dec 03; 163(49):6908-11.UL
Hydroxyurea (HU) is usually a well-tolerated antineoplastic agent, which is commonly used in the treatment of myeloproliferative disorders. Dermatological abnormalities are often seen in patients receiving long-term HU therapy. Leg ulcers have been reported occasionally.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
We carried out a prospective and descriptive study of patients who developed leg ulcers while receiving HU therapy.
Between 1.1.1997 and 1.2.1998, chronic cutaneous leg ulcers were found in five out of a total of 28 patients treated with HU. The average age was 76 years (64-87 years). Two patients had chronic myelogenous leukaemia in a non-accelerated phase, two polycytaemia vera, and one essential thrombocytosis. The average duration of HU therapy was 30 months (10-55 months) before ulcerations appeared. These were typically located on the malleolar and/or perimalleolar area, and were very painful. HU therapy was discontinued and replaced by busulphan or anagrelide. Within 1.5-11 months of discontinuation of the treatment, the wounds had healed or improved.
We found a surprisingly high number of cutaneous leg ulcers in patients on HU therapy for chronic myeloproliferative disorders. We believe this disabling complication should be given greater attention and recommend that it is included in the description of the side effects of the drug.