Clinical profile of patients with acute generalized pustular psoriasis with and without IL36RN mutations in multi-ethnic Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Siew Eng Choon, Peter Seah Keng Tok, Kit Wan Wong, Yee Ting Lim, Nalini M. Nanu, Jonathan N. Barker, Francesca Capon

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Generalized Pustular psoriasis (GPP), a rare and potentially life-threatening auto-inflammatory disease, is associated with IL36RN mutations. Here, we analyse the prevalence of IL36RN mutations in our multi-ethnic GPP cohort and assess differences in the clinical profile of patients with (IL36RN-positive) and without (IL36RN-negative) mutations. IL36RN mutations were present in 17.7% of 137 GPP patients (29.7% of Chinese cases, 17.3% of Malay cases, but 0% of Indian patients). 92% of these individuals carried the c.115 + 6 T > C mutation. Male: female ratio was 1:2.3. Females predominate in both groups with no significant difference between IL36RN-positive and IL36RN-negative individuals. The overall mean age (±SD) at disease onset for GPP was 37.6 ± 17.2 years, but disease onset was significantly earlier in IL36RN-positive vs IL36RN-negative cases (mean age:30.6 ± 18.92 vs. 39.2 ± 16.49 years, p = 0.027). IL36RN-positive patients were less likely to have associated plaque psoriasis (52.4% vs. 83.5%, p-value = 0.002). There was no difference in the common clinical and laboratory manifestations or triggers of GPP between IL36RN-positive and -negative patients, except for geographic tongue which was significantly more common in IL36RN-positive patients (41.7% vs. 11.9%, p-value = 0.002). Annual flare rate was significantly higher in IL36RN-positive compared to IL36RN-negative (mean ± SD of 1.92 ± 1.32 vs. 1.46 ± 0.90, p = 0.041) cases. However, no significant difference in the rate of hospitalization and length of hospital stay was observed between the two groups. These observations demonstrate that IL36RN disease alleles occur with varying frequencies among Asian populations and are associated with a severe, early-onset clinical phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1271
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • generalized pustular psoriasis
  • IL36RN mutations
  • Malaysia
  • psoriasis
  • pustular psoriasis

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