Treatment of vitiligo with 308-nm excimer laser: our experience from a 2-year follow-up of 979 Chinese patients

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Abstract

Background

The 308-nm excimer laser had been proved to be a time-efficient and potent therapeutic alternative for the management of vitiligo. Different results had been reported in different ethnic populations.

Objective

To investigate the efficacy and related contributing factors of 308-nm excimer laser in Chinese vitiligo patients.

Methods

A total of 979 Chinese patients (3478 lesions) with progressive-stage vitiligo who had received 308-nm excimer laser treatment were recruited from the vitiligo clinic of Shandong Provincial Hospital of Dermatology & Venereology from 2012 to 2014. Efficacy of treatment was evaluated at the end of session by two independent dermatologists based on the before and after images taken. Repigmentation was graded on a 4-point scale: grade 1, poor repigmentation (0–25%); grade 2, moderate repigmentation (26–50%); grade 3, good repigmentation (51–75%); grade 4, excellent repigmentation (76–100%).

Results

The mean grade of repigmentation was 2.29, 44.22% showed less than 25% repigmentation, 16.27% showed 26–50% repigmentation, 5.95% showed 51–75% repigmentation and 33.55% showed more than 76% repigmentation. The repigmentation of facial lesions was better than lesions located elsewhere (P < 0.0001), the best response was noted in the periorbital region, while lesions on hands and feet showed poor repigmentation (P < 0.0001). The degree of repigmentation was negatively correlated with disease duration (r = −0.268, P < 0.001), age (r = −0.095, P < 0.001) and shape of lesions (r = −0.114, P < 0.001), whereas it was positively correlated with treatment frequency (r = 0.270, P < 0.001). Lesions with concurrent poliosis were more likely resistant to treatments.

Conclusion

308-nm excimer laser appears to be an effective and safe treatment in Chinese vitiligo patients. The clinical response and treatment efficacy was affected by many factors such as age, affected anatomical area, shape of the lesion, disease duration and treatment frequencies.

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