Interventions for vitiligo.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Feb 24CD
Vitiligo is a chronic skin disorder characterised by patchy loss of skin colour. Some people experience itching before the appearance of a new patch. It affects people of any age or ethnicity, more than half of whom develop it before the age of 20 years. There are two main types: generalised vitiligo, the common symmetrical form, and segmental, affecting only one side of the body. Around 1% of the world's population has vitiligo, a disease causing white patches on the skin. Several treatments are available. Some can restore pigment but none can cure the disease.
To assess the effects of all therapeutic interventions used in the management of vitiligo.
We updated our searches of the following databases to October 2013: the Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL in The Cochrane Library (2013, Issue 10), MEDLINE, Embase, AMED, PsycINFO, CINAHL and LILACS. We also searched five trials databases, and checked the reference lists of included studies for further references to relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs).
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effects of treatments for vitiligo.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
At least two review authors independently assessed study eligibility and methodological quality, and extracted data.
This update of the 2010 review includes 96 studies, 57 from the previous update and 39 new studies, totalling 4512 participants. Most of the studies, covering a wide range of interventions, had fewer than 50 participants. All of the studies assessed repigmentation, however only five reported on all of our three primary outcomes which were quality of life, > 75% repigmentation and adverse effects. Of our secondary outcomes, six studies measured cessation of spread but none assessed long-term permanence of repigmentation resulting from treatment at two years follow-up.Most of the studies assessed combination therapies which generally reported better results. New interventions include seven new surgical interventions.We analysed the data from 25 studies which assessed our primary outcomes. We used the effect measures risk ratio (RR), and odds ratio (OR) with their 95% confidence intervals (CI) and where N is the number of participants in the study.We were only able to analyse one of nine studies assessing quality of life and this showed no statistically significant improvement between the comparators.Nine analyses from eight studies reported >75% repigmentation. In the following studies the repigmentation was better in the combination therapy group: calcipotriol plus PUVA (psoralen with UVA light) versus PUVA (paired OR 4.25, 95% CI 1.43 to 12.64, one study, N = 27); hydrocortisone-17-butyrate plus excimer laser versus excimer laser alone (RR 2.57, 95% CI 1.20 to 5.50, one study, N = 84); oral minipulse of prednisolone (OMP) plus NB-UVB (narrowband UVB) versus OMP alone (RR 7.41, 95% CI 1.03 to 53.26, one study, N = 47); azathioprine with PUVA versus PUVA alone (RR 17.77, 95% CI 1.08 to 291.82, one study, N = 58) and 8-Methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) plus sunlight versus psoralen (RR 2.50, 95% CI 1.06 to 5.91, one study, N = 168). In these three studies ginkgo biloba was better than placebo (RR 4.40, 95% CI 1.08 to 17.95, one study, N = 47); clobetasol propionate was better than PUVAsol (PUVA with sunlight) (RR 4.70, 95% CI 1.14 to 19.39, one study, N = 45); split skin grafts with PUVAsol was better than minipunch grafts with PUVAsol (RR 1.89, 95% CI 1.25 to 2.85, one study, N = 64).We performed one meta-analysis of three studies, in which we found a non-significant 60% increase in the proportion of participants achieving >75% repigmentation in favour of NB-UVB compared to PUVA (RR 1.60, 95% CI 0.74 to 3.45; I² = 0%).Studies assessing topical preparations, in particular topical corticosteroids, reported most adverse effects. However, in combination studies it was difficult to ascertain which treatment caused these effects. We performed two analyses from a pooled analysis of three studies on adverse effects. Where NB-UVB was compared to PUVA, the NB-UVB group reported less observations of nausea in three studies (RR 0.13, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.69; I² = 0% three studies, N = 156) and erythema in two studies (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.98; I² = 0%, two studies, N = 106), but not itching in two studies (RR 0.57, 95% CI 0.20 to 1.60; I² = 0%, two studies, N = 106).Very few studies only assessed children or included segmental vitiligo. We found one study of psychological interventions but we could not include the outcomes in our statistical analyses. We found no studies evaluating micropigmentation, depigmentation, or cosmetic camouflage.