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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1995 Jun;32(6):943-8.

Treatment of stable vitiligo with autologous epidermal grafting and PUVA.

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Department of Dermatology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Previous reports have shown the benefits of epidermal grafting for vitiligo.


Our purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness and complications of epidermal grafting in combination with PUVA on stable vitiligo refractory to conventional treatments.


In 100 patients with stable refractory vitiligo we performed epidermal grafting with suction blisters followed by PUVA treatment. The grafted sites were examined for repigmentation for up to 5 years.


Excellent repigmentation was observed at all grafted sites, especially on the face except for the lip and the alae nasae. PUVA treatment resulted in spreading of the pigmentation. Poor results were observed on the neck, axillae, and overlying bony prominences. Hyperpigmentation of the recipient and donor sites was frequently observed. Only six patients had recurrence and/or adjacent new lesions. Depigmentation developed at the donor site in only one patient with generalized vitiligo. Long-term observation in these patients indicates that repigmentation obtained by this method is permanent.


Although epidermal grafting in combination with PUVA has some limitations, it is an easy, safe, inexpensive, and effective treatment for various types of stable refractory vitiligo.

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