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Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2012 Jun;28(3):115-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0781.2012.00648.x.

Evaluation of the effect of disease duration in generalized vitiligo on its clinical response to narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy.

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Department of Dermatology, Razi Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) has been accepted as an effective therapy for generalized vitiligo. On the other hand, different factors seem to contribute to a good response. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the influence of disease duration on its clinical response to NB-UVB phototherapy.


In this open and uncontrolled study, vitiligo was considered 'recent' when the duration of disease was less than or equal to 4 years and 'long standing' when it was greater than 4 years. The patients received NB-UVB thrice weekly with an initial dose of 200 mJ/cm(2) and 10% increments at each subsequent treatment. After categorizing the clinical response to four groups (mild, moderate, good, and excellent), duration of disease and clinical response to NB-UVB were correlated statistically using the t-test.


There were 63 patients: 34 women and 29 men, aged 6-60 years. The mean of disease duration was 10.13 ± 9.1 years. Vitiligo was 'recent' in 26 and 'long standing' in 37 patients. The mean of overall response was 51.94 ± 18.48%. Higher grades of response were more prevalent in patients with recent vitiligo than those with long-standing disease, and there was also statistically significant difference in overall response between these two groups of disease duration (P = 0.023).


The early treatment of generalized vitiligo may enhance the chance of successful repigmentation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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