Narrow-band UVB phototherapy combined with tacrolimus ointment in vitiligo: a review of 110 patients.J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2007 Aug; 21(7):916-20.JE
Narrow-band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) phototherapy and topical tacrolimus are included among the most innovative approaches to vitiligo.
To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of combined treatment with NB-UVB and topical tacrolimus in vitiligo.
After informed consent, adult patients with chronic (> 1-year duration) stable vitiligo refractory to conventional treatments were enrolled in an open-labelled prospective study. Treatment regimen consists of once-daily application, in the evening, of tacrolimus 0.03% ointment to the lesions of the face, or tacrolimus 0.1% ointment to the vitiligous patches located on other areas. Concomitant NB-UVB phototherapy was performed twice weekly for 16 weeks.
Study population included 110 patients (mean age, 42) with a total of 403 lesions. Within the treatment period, variable repigmentation was evident on more than 70% of lesions. Clinical response (repigmentation more than 50%) was observed in 42% of lesions. Response was strictly dependent on the site, being more frequent for face lesions (73%), followed by limbs (68%) and trunk (53.5%). The therapeutic effect on the extremities and genital areas was quite disappointing. Treatment was well tolerated.
Our preliminary data suggest that the combination of topical tacrolimus with NB-UVB phototherapy can represent an alternative highly effective approach to refractory vitiligo located on the face, trunk and limbs. Long-term safety data and randomized controlled trials on a large number of patients are required.