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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1994 Nov;31(5 Pt 1):775-90.

Photochemotherapy beyond psoriasis.

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Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland.


Photochemotherapy involves the therapeutic use of nonionizing radiation in combination with a photosensitizing chemical to trigger a photochemical reaction that mediates a beneficial effect. The successful introduction and widespread use of psoralen photochemotherapy (PUVA) in the management of psoriasis was the chief stimulus for recent interest in the therapeutic use of nonionizing radiation in various other dermatoses. This article discusses the expanding spectrum of diseases responding to PUVA therapy. More than 30 conditions such as atopic dermatitis, mycosis fungoides, vitiligo, the photodermatoses, chronic graft-versus-host disease, and granuloma annulare have been successfully treated with oral psoralen photochemotherapy. Various mechanisms of response to treatment are discussed including photoimmunologic effects, selective cytotoxicity, alterations of cell function, and stimulation of melanocytes. Finally, the limitations to the use of PUVA therapy are identified and its future use in other cutaneous and systemic diseases are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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