Photodynamic therapy in the treatment of symptomatic oral lichen planus: A systematic review

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The aim of this systematic review was to assess the efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of symptomatic oral lichen planus (OLP).


This systematic review aimed to address the following focused question: “Is PDT effective in the treatment of symptomatic OLP?” Indexed databases such as MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL were searched up to and including August 2017.


Six clinical studies were included. The risk of bias was considered high in 5 studies and moderate in one study. Parameters of PDT such as wavelengths, energy fluence, power density and exposure time ranged between 320-660 nm, 120 J/cm2, 130 mW/cm2, and 70-150 seconds, respectively. The follow-up period ranged from 4 to 48 weeks. All included studies reporting clinical scores showed that PDT was effective in the treatment of OLP in adult patients at follow-up. However, PDT did not show significant improvement when compared with steroid therapy.


Photodynamic therapy appears to have some effect in the symptomatic treatment of OLP in adult patients. However, further randomized controlled trials with long follow-up period, standardized PDT parameters, and comparing the efficacy of PDT with steroid therapy are warranted to obtain strong conclusions in this regard.

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