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Arch Dermatol. 1999 Dec;135(12):1514-21.

The development of guidelines for the treatment of vitiligo. Clinical Epidemiology Unit of the Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata-Istituto di Recovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IDI-IRCCS) and the Archives of Dermatology.

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Netherlands Institute for Pigmentary Disorders, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam.



To develop and introduce evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of vitiligo in children and in adults.


Patients, residents, and dermatologists from the Department of Dermatology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, and the Netherlands Institute for Pigmentary Disorders in Amsterdam.


Scientific evidence obtained from 3 systematic reviews of the literature was combined with the results of 2 questionnaires and interviews of potential users of the guidelines, 3 internal expert meetings, and 1 local expert meeting, during which preliminary guidelines were presented and commented on. A final version of the guidelines was synthesized and disseminated among potential users. Six months after the introduction of these guidelines, their use was evaluated.


Before the development of the guidelines, there was no uniformity in treatment selection, and there was a variability in estimates of treatment outcome. The metaanalysis showed class 3 corticosteroids and narrowband UV-B to be the most effective and safest therapies for localized and for generalized vitiligo, respectively. From another systematic review, it could be concluded that patients with segmental, stable, or lip-tip vitiligo could be successfully treated with most autologous transplantation methods. For vitiligo universalis, results of the systematic review showed that depigmentation using monobenzone or a Q-switched ruby laser was equally effective. The final version of the guidelines consisted of a treatment scheme together with detailed treatment protocols. Implementation of the guidelines was evaluated in 5 physicians. After the introduction of these guidelines, they were followed in most adult cases with vitiligo (71% of patients with localized vitiligo, 82% with generalized vitiligo, 100% with stable or segmental vitiligo, and 80% with universal vitiligo). In children with vitiligo, the physicians adhered to the guidelines for 52% of the cases.


Guidelines for the treatment of vitiligo can be successfully developed and disseminated for daily clinical practice. The results of the implementation of these guidelines should be confirmed in other centers involving more clinicians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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