Laboratory monitoring during antifungal treatment of paediatric tinea capitis

Natalie Aleohin, Jonathan Bar, Efrat Bar-Ilan, Liat Samuelov, Eli Sprecher, Jacob Mashiah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Griseofulvin and terbinafine are considered effective first-line therapies for tinea capitis (TC). Haematological dyscrasias and hepatic injury are possible adverse effects with both drugs. There is a debate in the literature regarding the necessity of laboratory monitoring during griseofulvin and terbinafine treatment. We aimed at assessing the prevalence and severity of haematological and hepatic laboratory test abnormalities in a paediatric cohort of African immigrants in Tel-Aviv with TC who were treated with Terbinafine or Griseofulvin. We conducted a retrospective study of all TC cases diagnosed and treated at the paediatric dermatology clinic, Tel-Aviv Medical centre, between June 2013 and March 2019. Epidemiologic, clinical and laboratory data were collected. Our cohort included 321 patients of whom 225 (70%) were treated with Griseofulvin and 96 (30%) with Terbinafine. We identified a total of 64 (20%) patients with haematological or hepatic laboratory test abnormalities that in most cases (96.3%) were considered as mild. No difference in laboratory abnormalities prevalence was identified between the griseofulvin and terbinafine groups (21.3% and 16.6%, respectively). Only one patient treated with Griseofulvin revealed significantly increased levels of hepatic aminotransferases that required discontinuation of treatment. Mild elevation in hepatic transaminases is relatively common among paediatric patients treated with systemic antifungal treatment for TC. However, significant laboratory abnormalities are extremely rare and may be diagnosed and addressed early through periodic laboratory tests monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Terbinafine
  • griseofulvin
  • laboratory abnormalities
  • monitoring
  • tinea capitis


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