Treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scars with dermojet injections of bleomycin: a preliminary study


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Abstract

BackgroundNumerous treatment modalities have been used to treat keloids and hypertrophic scars, but the optimal treatment has not been established.ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of intralesional jet injection of bleomycin as therapy for keloids and hypertrophic scars that are unresponsive to intralesional steroid injection.MethodsThe study included 14 patients with 15 keloids or hypertrophic scars that had not responded to a minimum of three intralesional injections of triamcinolone acetonide. Multiple jet injections of 0.1 ml of bleomycin (1.5 IU/ml) were administered to each lesion, with injection sites spaced 0.5 mm apart. Injections were repeated each month. Scar height was measured, and scar pliability and erythema were scored at baseline and then monthly during the treatment and follow-up periods.Patients' self-assessments of subjective symptoms (pruritus and pain) were also scored. Clinical improvement was defined primarily on the basis of scar height reduction (percentage reduction from baseline), and was classified using the following scale: complete flattening (100%), highly significant flattening (> 90%), significant flattening (75–90%), moderate flattening (50–75%), and minimal flattening (< 50%). Pre- and post-treatment mean values for scar height, scar pliability, erythema, pruritus and pain were statistically compared.ResultsThe number of sessions required to successfully treat the lesions ranged from two to six. Eleven lesions (73.3%) showed complete flattening, one (6.7%) showed highly significant flattening, two (13.3%) showed significant flattening, and one scar (6.7%) showed moderate flattening. The mean scar height was significantly lower, and the mean scores for scar pliability and erythema were significantly better at the end of treatment (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). The mean scores for pruritus and pain also improved significantly (P < 0.001 and P = 0.01, respectively). The observed side-effects were hyperpigmentation (four lesions) and skin atrophy (three lesions). No recurrences were noted during follow up (mean duration of 19 months).ConclusionsIntralesional jet injection of bleomycin is an effective and safe method of treating keloids and hypertrophic scars that are unresponsive to intralesional steroid therapy.

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