Neonatal blue light phototherapy and melanocytic nevi: a twin study.


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Abstract

BACKGROUNDNeonatal blue light phototherapy (NBLP) has been widely and successfully used for the treatment of neonatal jaundice to reduce the plasma concentration of bilirubin and, hence, to prevent kernicterus. Only a few and controversial data are available in the literature as to how NBLP influences melanocytic nevus development.OBJECTIVEOur goal was to conduct a twin study with the aim of better understanding the role of NBLP in melanocytic nevus development. We also investigated the roles of other environmental and constitutional factors in nevus formation.METHODSFifty-nine monozygotic and dizygotic twins were included in this cross-sectional study. One of the twin members received NBLP, and the other did not. A whole-body skin examination was performed to determine the density of melanocytic skin lesions. The prevalence of benign pigmented uveal lesions was evaluated during a detailed ophthalmologic examination. A standardized questionnaire was used to assess data relating to constitutional, sun-exposure, and other variables. To search for possible gene-environmental interactions involved in the appearance of pigmented lesions, the melanocortin 1 receptor variants and the I439V polymorphism of histidine ammonia-lyase genes were also determined in the enrolled twins.RESULTSNBLP was associated with a significantly higher prevalence of both cutaneous and uveal melanocytic lesions. No association was found between the examined gene polymorphisms and the number of pigmented alterations in the examined study group.CONCLUSIONSOur data suggest that NBLP could well be a risk factor for melanocytic nevus development. Phototherapy with blue-light lamps is a standard and essential therapeutic modality in neonatal care; therefore, additional in vivo and in vitro studies are necessary to establish its potential long-term adverse effects.

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