Clinical and experimental dermatology

Treatment of vitiligo with local khellin and UVA: comparison with systemic PUVA.

PMID 14987278


Vitiligo is an idiopathic leukoderma often with a progressive course causing destruction of melanocytes. The best methods for achieving cosmetically acceptable re-pigmentation of affected skin appear to be both local and systemic PUVA. They may, however, cause serious side effects, which is an argument for conducting research into new, equally effective photo-chemotherapeutic agents. One of these agents is khellin. We conducted a pilot study in 33 patients to evaluate the effectiveness of local KUVA and systemic PUVA therapy for vitiligo and to compare them in terms of the degree of re-pigmentation, duration of treatment, number of procedures, total UVA dose and side effects. Local KUVA required longer duration of treatment and higher UVA doses. KUVA-induced re-pigmentation depended on the age of the patients (r = -0.61, P = 0.001), and better results were achieved with younger individuals [% re-pigmentation = 81.76 - (1.48 x age in years)]. No side effects were observed in cases of local KUVA treatment. Erythema, itching and gastro-intestinal disturbances occurred with some patients treated with PUVA. The results demonstrate that local KUVA may effectively induce re-pigmentation of vitiligo-affected skin areas to a degree comparable to that achieved when using systemic PUVA, provided that treatment duration is long enough.

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Khellin, for microscopy