Leucoderma treated by transplantation of a basal cell layer enriched suspension

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SummaryThe aim of this study was to test the usefulness of a melanocyte-enriched cell suspension for the treatment of leucoderma. After removal of a superficial (4-30 cm2) skin sample, the cells were mechanically separated in a trypsin-EDTA solution, centrifuged and washed in a melanocyte medium. The melanocyte-enriched epidermal cell suspension devoid of stratum corneum and stratum granulosum was then applied to the dermabraded depigmented skin. The 26 patients treated had piebaldism (three), vitiligo vulgaris (17), segmental vitiligo (three), halo naevi (one), naevus depigmentosus (one) and chemical leucoderma (one). In patients with widespread piebaldism we found that by diluting the cell suspension the recipient area could be increased to up to 10 times the size of the donor area with the same good results as without or with less dilution. In patients with vitiligo areas of between 50 and 90 cm2, the recipient areas were increased three- to fivefold in the donor area. Patients with piebaldism, segmental vitiligo and halo naevi healed completely, as did most patients with vitiligo. In naevus depigmentosus no effect was seen. Our new method for treatment of leucoderma has the advantage that cell culture is not needed and that it is more suitable than epidermal sheet grafts when several small areas are to be treated.

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