Ultraviolet (UV) A1 and psoralen plus UVA (PUVA) are effective treatment options for severe atopic dermatitis (AD); however, their relative efficacy has not yet been determined in a head-to-head study.
To compare UVA1 and oral 5-methoxypsoralen (5-MOP) plus UVA with respect to efficacy, tolerability and duration of response in patients with severe generalized AD.
Forty patients were included in this randomized observer-blinded crossover trial. The patients received either 15 exposures to medium-dose UVA1 as the first treatment and, in cases of relapse, another 15 exposures to 5-MOP plus UVA as the second treatment, or vice versa. All patients were followed until 12 months after discontinuation of the last treatment. The SCORAD score was determined by a blinded investigator at baseline, after 10 and 15 treatments each and during the follow-up period. In addition, all adverse events were recorded during the whole study period.
Twenty-three patients completed the crossover treatment. Both phototherapies resulted in clinical improvement; however, PUVA reduced the baseline SCORAD score to a significantly greater extent than UVA1 (mean ± SD 54·3 ± 25·7% vs. 37·7 ± 22·8%; P = 0·041). The median length of remission was 4 weeks (interquartile range 4–12) after UVA1 and 12 weeks (interquartile range 4–26) after PUVA therapy (P = 0·012).
PUVA provides a better short- and long-term response than medium-dose UVA1 in patients with severe AD.
Tzaneva, S., Kittler, H., Holzer, G., Reljic, D., Weber, M., Hönigsmann, H. and Tanew, A., 2010. 5‐Methoxypsoralen plus ultraviolet (UV) A is superior to medium‐dose UVA1 in the treatment of severe atopic dermatitis: a randomized crossover trial. British Journal of Dermatology, 162(3), pp.655-660.
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