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Acta Derm Venereol. 2008;88(4):376-81. doi: 10.2340/00015555-0469.

Targeted broadband ultraviolet b phototherapy produces similar responses to targeted narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy for vitiligo: a randomized, double-blind study.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. pravit@adsl.loxinfo.com


Narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) phototherapy, with a 308-nm xenon chloride excimer laser, and targeted UVB phototherapy have produced encouraging therapeutic results for vitiligo. However, very few studies employing broadband UVB exist. Moreover, there has been no direct comparison study between broadband UVB and NB-UVB for the treatment of vitiligo. The aims of this study were to compare the repigmenting efficacy of targeted broadband UVB phototherapy with that of NB-UVB in an equi-erythemogenic manner. Twenty identical vitiliginous lesions from 10 patients were randomly allocated to receive either targeted broadband UVB or targeted NB-UVB phototherapy. UV fluences were started at 50% of the minimal erythema dose detected within the vitiliginous patches, then increased gradually, in the same manner, to ensure equi-erythemogenic comparison. Treatments were carried out twice weekly for 12 weeks. The results show that grade 1, i.e. 1-25% repigmentation, to grade 2, 26-50% repigmentation, occurred in 6 of 10 subjects. Responses in terms of repigmentation, de-pigmentation, or lack thereof, were similar between lesions receiving broadband and NB-UVB phototherapy. Onset of repigmentation occurred as early as 4 weeks of treatment in most subjects. Treatments were well tolerated, with only minimal erythema and hyperpigmentation.


The study was carried out in a small number of patients with skin types III, IV and V. The irradiation device was a targeted UVB device and thus the results may not be applicable to other light sources, such as the excimer laser or total-body irradiation cabinets. In conclusion, targeted broadband UVB produces similar clinical responses to targeted NB-UVB in the treatment of the non-segmental type of vitiligo.

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