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Narrowband UVB therapy for vitiligo: does the repigmentation last?


Sitek JC1, Loeb M, Ronnevig JR.
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Department of Dermatology, Ulleval University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
BACKGROUND:

Since 1997, a number of trials have shown promising results in treating generalized vitiligo with narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) both in adults and children. However, there is little knowledge concerning the duration and permanency of the treatment-induced repigmentation.
OBJECTIVE:uvb lamp vitiligo

Our main objective was to perform a follow-up trial of successfully treated patients receiving narrowband UVB for generalized vitiligo.
METHODS:

We have investigated to what degree the treatment-induced repigmentation remains stable for up to 2 years post-treatment. We performed an initial open trial including 31 patients with generalized vitiligo. They received narrowband UVB thrice weekly for up to 12 months. Patients experiencing > 75% vitiligo repigmentation were defined responders and were included in the follow-up trial. Responders were followed every 6 months for up to 2 years after cessation of treatment. We observed the pigmentation status and registered any changes indicating loss of pigmentation and relapse.
RESULTS:

Eleven of the 31 treated patients were included in the follow-up trial. Six patients had relapse and five patients had stable response 24 months after cessation of treatment. Four out of six relapses were within 6 months post-treatment.
CONCLUSION:

In our study population of 31 patients with generalized vitiligo, five patients (16%) experienced > 75% stable repigmentation 2 years after cessation of a treatment programme of up to 1 years narrowband UVB therapy.

 

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