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J Dermatolog Treat. 2019 Feb;30(1):81-86. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2018.1468063. Epub 2018 May 10.

Pulsed-dye laser as an adjuvant treatment for discoid lupus erythematosus: a randomized, controlled trial.

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a Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine , Skin and Allergy Research Unit, Chulalongkorn University , Bangkok , Thailand.
b Division of Immunology, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine , Center of Excellence in Immunology and Immune-mediated Diseases, Chulalongkorn University , Bangkok , Thailand.



To evaluate the efficacy and safety of pulsed-dye laser (PDL) for discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) in a double blinded, randomized, controlled fashion.


Forty-eight DLE lesions from nine patients were recruited. The lesions on one side of the body were randomized into the treatment group and the other side served as a control. Treatments with the PDL (595 nm) were delivered every four weeks for four consecutive months. The patients were evaluated at weeks 0, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 24. Erythema index (EI) and Texture index (TI) were obtained by Antera3D®. Modified Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Disease Area and Severity Index (mCLASI) and physician global assessment (PGA) scores were assessed in every visit. Lesional skin biopsies before and after the PDL treatment were taken from four patients.


The lesions treated with the PDL demonstrated significantly more decreases in EI, TI and improvement in PGA scores compared to the control. Though there was improvement of mCLASI in the laser group, the significance difference was not observed. Interestingly, real-time polymerase chain reaction showed a reduction in CXCL-9, 10, IFN-γ, IL-1β, TNF-α and TGF-β. Additionally, post-treatment DLE lesions demonstrated decreased CD3, CD4, CD8 and CXCR3-positive cells.


Improvements of DLE can be achieved with PDL.


Pulsed-dye laser; adjuvant; discoid lupus erythematosus

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