Systemic antifungal therapy for tinea capitis in children: An abridged Cochrane Review

Xiaomei Chen, Xia Jiang, Ming Yang, Cathy Bennett, Urbà González, Xiufang Lin, Xia Hua, Siliang Xue, Min Zhang

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54 Citations (Scopus)
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BackgroundThe comparative efficacy and safety profiles of systemic antifungal drugs for tinea capitis in children remain unclear.ObjectiveWe sought to assess the effects of systemic antifungal drugs for tinea capitis in children.MethodsWe used standard Cochrane methodological procedures.ResultsWe included 25 randomized controlled trials with 4449 participants. Terbinafine and griseofulvin had similar effects for children with mixed Trichophyton and Microsporum infections (risk ratio 1.08, 95% confidence interval 0.94-1.24). Terbinafine was better than griseofulvin for complete cure of T tonsurans infections (risk ratio 1.47, 95% confidence interval 1.22-1.77); griseofulvin was better than terbinafine for complete cure of infections caused solely by Microsporum species (risk ratio 0.68, 95% confidence interval 0.53-0.86). Compared with griseofulvin or terbinafine, itraconazole and fluconazole had similar effects against Trichophyton infections.LimitationsAll included studies were at unclear or high risk of bias. Lower quality evidence resulted in a lower confidence in the estimate of effect. Significant clinical heterogeneity existed across studies.ConclusionsGriseofulvin or terbinafine are both effective; terbinafine is more effective for T tonsurans and griseofulvin for M canis infections. Itraconazole and fluconazole are alternative but not optimal choices for Trichophyton infections. Optimal regimens of antifungal agents need further studies.

Publisher Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, [76, 2, (2017)] DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.08.061

© 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-374
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
Early online date2 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • children
  • Cochrane
  • systemic antifungal therapy
  • systematic review
  • tinea capitis
  • treatment


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