The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) among patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), especially when receiving treatment with Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, is unclear.
To determine the association of AD with incident VTE and evaluate the risk of incident VTE among patients with AD who were receiving treatment with JAK inhibitors.
The MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases were searched with no restrictions on language nor geographic locations from their respective inception to February 5, 2022.
Cohort studies examining the association of AD with incident VTE and randomized clinical trials (RCTs) reporting VTE events in participants with AD receiving JAK inhibitors were included. Around 0.7% of initially identified articles met the selection criteria.
Data Extraction and Synthesis
The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline was followed. The risk of bias of included cohort studies and RCTs was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool 2, respectively. A random-effects model meta-analysis was conducted to calculate the pooled hazard ratio (HR) and risk difference for incident VTE.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The HRs for incident VTE associated with AD and risk difference for incident VTE between participants with AD who were receiving treatment with JAK inhibitors and controls receiving placebo or dupilumab.
Two cohort studies and 15 RCTs with a total of 466 993 participants were included. The meta-analysis found no significant association of AD with incident VTE (HR, 0.95; 95% CI 0.62-1.45; incidence rate of VTE, 0.23 events/100 patient-years). Overall, 3 of 5722 patients with AD (0.05%) who were receiving treatment with JAK inhibitors experienced VTE compared with 1 of 3065 patients with AD (0.03%) receiving placebo or dupilumab (Mantel-Haenszel risk difference, 0; 95% CI, 0-0). The incidence rate of VTE was 0.15 and 0.12 events per 100 patient-years in participants with AD receiving JAK inhibitors and placebo, respectively. The findings were similar in 4 unique JAK inhibitors (abrocitinib, baricitinib, upadacitinib, and SHR0302).
Conclusions and Relevance
The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis suggest that the currently available evidence does not detect an increased risk of VTE associated with AD or treatment with JAK inhibitors. These findings may provide a reference for clinicians in prescribing JAK inhibitors for patients with AD.