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Derm News: 2007.27(2)

Comparison of systemic PUVA and NB-UVB in the treatment of vitiligo: an open prospective study

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 21(5):638-642
A Bhatnagar, AJ Kanwar, D Parsad, D De


Vitiligo is a common pigmentary disorder with great cosmetic and psychological morbidity. No treatment available is a definitive cure. Systemic psoralen and ultraviolet A (PUVA) has been the mainstay of treatment. Narrow-band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) has been recently introduced. Although retrospective comparative study of systemic PUVA and NB-UVB has been published from our centre, no prospective study has been reported to date.


To investigate the position of NB-UVB vis--vis PUVA in terms of efficacy, time to repigment and adverse effects and to help decide if one therapy has an advantage over another in the treatment of vitiligo.


It was a randomized, open, prospective study of 50 patients divided equally in TMP PUVA and NB-UVB groups. The study period was from January 2004 to June 2005.


The mean degree of repigmentation attained in the NB-UVB group was 52.24% over a mean treatment period of 6.3 months, whereas in the PUVA group it was 44.7% in a mean period of 5.6 months (P = 0.144). After excluding the results of therapy-resistant sites, that is, hands and feet, the mean degree of repigmentation in the NB-UVB group was 67.57%, whereas in the PUVA group it was 54.2% (P = 0.007).


NB-UVB performed better in comparison to TMP PUVA in terms of mean total repigmentation when traditionally considered therapy-resistant sites were excluded.

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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.