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Photodermatol. 1987 Oct;4(5):265-8.

Long-term efficacy of PUVA treatment in lichen planus: comparison of oral and external methoxsalen regimens.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University Central Hospital of Turku, Finland.


Forty-three patients with lichen planus (LP) were treated with either oral methoxsalen PUVA (10 cases), bath methoxsalen PUVA (13 cases) or no PUVA (20 cases). In the bath treatment series, a good or excellent clearing of the lesions was registered in 10 out of 13 cases after courses of 8-46 irradiations, while in the orally medicated group only 5 out of 10 had a similar response after 8-30 irradiations. In addition, 11 of the 23 PUVA-treated patients showed progressive improvement of their condition during the first few months after PUVA therapy. A clinical follow-up study was made 15 and 10 months later in the oral and bath PUVA groups, respectively, and at 10 months in the no-PUVA group. Six of the 23 PUVA-treated patients (23%) were found to be totally clear, but the remaining 17 patients (74%) had clinical signs of LP. Eleven of the 20 no-PUVA-treated patients (55%) showed total clearing. It is concluded that while both oral and bath methoxsalen PUVA regimens have a distinct immediate (1-2 months) clearing effect on LP, the late outcome of the rash is not better than with no UV treatment; PUVA treatment may possibly even prolong the ultimate course of LP.

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