To remember: Radiotherapy – a successful treatment for early Dupuytren’s disease.

October 30, 2016

Dupuytren’s disease (DD) is a common fibroproliferative condition of the hand which tends to cause progressive digital flexion contracture. Therapeutic strategies to treat the disease include radiotherapy, injections of collagenase clostridium histolyticum, needle fasciotomy and extended surgical intervention dependent on involvement and duration of the disease. We have reviewed the literature with the aim to assess the conditions and effects of radiotherapy in DD. In early stages of the disease, radiotherapy resulted in regression of symptoms/a lack of progression found on average in 40% (range 10-85%)/81% (range 50-100%) of the patients with recurrence rates of only 12-31% after long-term follow-up (>4 years). These results proved to be significantly better than in the untreated patients with natural course of the disease (about 50% progression after a follow-up of 5-6 years). Long-term side-effects (skin dryness) are observed on average in one quarter of the patients, but are well tolerated. Local occurrence of malignancies has not been reported yet. Due to severe functional impairment leading to individual suffering and the high economic burden, treatment of DD in early stages is necessary and radiation therapy represents an effective, safe and economic treatment option.

Eberlein B, Biedermann T.

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