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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Orally administered ketoconazole: route of delivery to the human stratum corneum.

Delivery of ketoconazole to human stratum corneum was studied. Thirteen healthy volunteers, three patients with chronic fungal disease and one patient with palmar-plantar hyperhidrosis were given 400 mg of ketoconazole daily for various lengths of time. The ketoconazole content of palmar stratum corneum, eccrine sweat, sebum, and serum was measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography (sensitivity, 0.005 to 0.010 microgram/ml). Palmar stratum corneum obtained after 7 and 14 days of daily administration contained up to 14 micrograms of ketoconazole per g. Ketoconazole was not found in sebum after 7 or 14 days of daily ingestion of the antimycotic agent. Sebum from three patients with chronic fungal infection treated for greater than 9 months contained ketoconazole (means, 4.7 micrograms/g). Thermogenic whole body eccrine sweat contained a mean of 0.059 microgram/ml on day 7 and 0.084 microgram/ml on day 14 of daily administration. Ketoconazole appeared in thermogenic whole body eccrine sweat and palmar hyperhidrotic sweat within 1 h after a single oral dose. Partition studies of ketoconazole containing eccrine sweat demonstrated a 10-fold greater concentration in the sediment phase (desquamated keratinocytes) compared with the clear supernatant phase. In vitro studies with [3H]ketoconazole-supplemented supernatant sweat revealed preferential binding to stratum corneum, hair, and nails and its partitioning to lipid-rich sebum. We conclude that eccrine sweat rapidly transports ketoconazole across the blood-skin barrier, where it may bind or partition to keratinocytes and surface lipids.[1]


  1. Orally administered ketoconazole: route of delivery to the human stratum corneum. Harris, R., Jones, H.E., Artis, W.M. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1983) [Pubmed]
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