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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 Dec;61(6):1033-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.03.048.

Pain associated with aminolevulinic acid-photodynamic therapy of skin disease.

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1
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pain during topical aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT) limits the use of this treatment of skin diseases.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to summarize the effectiveness of interventions to reduce ALA-PDT-related pain, and to explore factors contributing to pain induction.

METHODS:

A PubMed search was performed to identify all clinical PDT trials (2000-2008) that used ALA or methyl-ALA, enrolled at least 10 patients per trial, and used a semiquantitative pain scale.

RESULTS:

In all, 43 articles were identified for review. Pain intensity is associated with lesion size and location and can be severe for certain diagnoses, such as plaque-type psoriasis. Results are inconsistent for the correlation of pain with light source, wavelength of light, fluence rate, and total light dose. Cooling represents the best topical intervention.

LIMITATIONS:

Pain perception differs widely between patients and can contribute to variability in the reported results.

CONCLUSION:

Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors, cold/menthol receptors (transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily M, member 8), and vanilloid/capsaicin receptors (transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 1) may be involved in pain perception during ALA-PDT and are therefore worthy of further investigation.

PMID:
19925929
PMCID:
PMC3529571
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaad.2009.03.048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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