Interventions for atopic dermatitis in dogs: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

Department of Clinical Sciences and Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA.
Veterinary Dermatology (Impact Factor: 2.02). 02/2010; 21(1):4-22. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-3164.2009.00784.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of this systematic review, which was performed following the guidelines of the Cochrane collaboration, was to assess the effects of interventions for treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) in dogs. Citations identified from three databases (MEDLINE, Thomson's Science Citation Index Expanded and CAB Abstracts) and trials published by December 2007 were selected. Proceedings books from the major veterinary dermatology international congresses were hand searched for relevant citations. The authors selected randomized controlled trials (RCTs), published from January 1980 to December 2007, which reported the efficacy of topical or systemic interventions for treatment or prevention of canine AD. Studies had to report assessments of either pruritus or skin lesions, or both. Studies were selected and data extracted by two reviewers, with discrepancies resolved by a third arbitrator. Missing data were requested from study authors of recently published trials. Pooling of results and meta-analyses were performed for studies reporting similar interventions and outcome measures. A total of 49 RCTs were selected, which had enrolled 2126 dogs. This review found some evidence of efficacy of topical tacrolimus (3 RCTs), topical triamcinolone (1), oral glucocorticoids (5), oral ciclosporin (6), subcutaneous recombinant gamma-interferon (1) and subcutaneous allergen-specific immunotherapy (3) to decrease pruritus and/or skin lesions of AD in dogs. One high-quality RCT showed that an oral essential fatty acid supplement could reduce prednisolone consumption by approximately half. Additional RCTs of high design quality must be performed to remedy previous flaws and to test interventions for prevention of flares of this disease.

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