The purpose of this double-blind randomised parallel-group study was to compare the efficacy and safety of short-contact treatment with dithranol ointment (2%) with its combination with calcipotriol ointment (50 µg/g) in 2 groups of in-patients with chronic plaque psoriasis. The patients of the first group (n = 23) topically applied dithranol once daily for 30 min and the vehicle of calcipotriol twice daily. The patients of the second group (n = 23) used a single topical application of dithranol for 30 min daily and additionally applied calcipotriol twice daily. The extent and the severity of psoriasis were assessed by means of psoriasis area and severity index score (PASI score) before the onset of the 6-week therapy and weekly thereafter. The difference between the two groups with regard to the mean PASI score became statistically significant already after the first week of treatment and remained so until the end of the trial. No significant differences were observed between the two groups with respect to the cutaneous adverse events. These findings indicate that the addition of calcipotriol ointment to short-contact dithranol markedly augments the therapeutic efficacy of the latter in chronic plaque psoriasis and impressively accelerates the response of psoriatic plaques to this well-tolerated regimen.

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