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Ann Dermatol Venereol. 2008 Mar;135(3):209-12. doi: 10.1016/j.annder.2007.06.010. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

[Photopheresis: an alternative therapeutic approach in corticoresistant erosive oral lichen planus].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de Dermatologie, Hôtel-Dieu, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, 63058 Clermont-Ferrand cedex 1, France.



The immunomodulatory effect of extracorporeal photochemotherapy (photopheresis) coupled with its efficacy in lymphocytic skin diseases provides a rationale for its use for erosive lichen planus. We report two cases of chronic oral erosive and corticoresistant lichen planus successfully treated with photopheresis.


Case 1. A 61-years-old man had erosive oral lichen planus for four years. Oral steroids were contra-indicated due to iatrogenic pancreatitis. After nine photopheresis sessions, subjective improvement occurred and the oral lesions were stabilized. Case 2. A 17-years-old woman presented corticodependent oral and genital erosive lichen planus and cutaneous lesions. After seven sessions of photopheresis, the patient was able to eat again and the pain decreased. After 20 sessions, the cutaneous lichen planus disappeared and complete remission of the mucous lesions was obtained without corticotherapy.


These two cases, together with 23 other cases reported elsewhere, strongly suggested the value of photopheresis in the treatment of erosive lichen planus. However, relapses after treatment withdrawal appear extremely frequent.

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