Daylight-Mediated Photodynamic Therapy With Methyl Aminolevulinate in Actinic Keratosis Treatment

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Research has shown daylight-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of actinic keratosis (AK) to be effective, tolerable, and convenient, with excellent patient satisfaction and cosmesis. Although success has been demonstrated in areas with similar latitudes to Switzerland and Scandinavia, this treatment has not been studied in a Canadian population.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness, safety, and patient satisfaction of daylight-mediated methyl 5-aminolevulinate (MAL)–PDT to make recommendations for its use in Canadian practice.


A retrospective chart review of patients who received treatment of daylight-mediated MAL-PDT for the indication of AK at the Institute of Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Oakville, Ontario, between 2009 and 2016.


A total of 112 patients were included, consisting of 94 males and 18 females with a mean age of 63.79 years. A total of 177 sites were treated among all patients, mostly consisting of the face (n = 92) and scalp (n = 55). A total of 13.4% of patients experienced side effects, the most common being redness (n = 4) and scabbing (n = 4). Of the 42 patients who expressed their level of satisfaction, 83.3% reported being happy with the treatment, χ2(1) = 18.67, P ≤ .05; 6.3% of patients were noted to be completely clear, 86.6% had a good response, 0.9% had a mild response, and 0% had no response, χ2(1) = 101.04, P ≤ .05.


Daylight-mediated MAL-PDT is a suitable treatment option for AK lesions in a Canadian population due to the demonstrated efficacy, patient satisfaction, tolerability, and convenience.

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