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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1994 Apr;30(4):591-7.

Pigment cell transplantation for treatment of vitiligo: a progress report.

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Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8059.



Because available treatments for vitiligo generally provide unsatisfactory results, the search for viable therapeutic alternatives continues.


Our purpose was to evaluate several transplantation procedures with cultured autologous melanocytes for their practicality in treating patients with vitiligo.


Twenty-seven patients with stable or active vitiligo were treated after superficial dermabrasion with application of suspensions of autologous cultured melanocytes, melanocyte-keratinocyte mixtures, or epidermal sheets established in vitro.


Regardless of disease activity, use of each method resulted in repigmentation to a similar degree and without scarring in all patients. Melanocyte suspensions offer several advantages: They are easily prepared, can be applied in a controlled manner, permit coverage of large areas, and produce a homogeneous skin color that affords the best cosmetic restoration. The ultrastructure of transplant sites resembled that of uninvolved skin, with one exception: the melanocytes were located slightly higher than in uninvolved skin.


Application of cultured autologous melanocytes to lightly abraded skin is an advantageous addition to the treatments available for patients with vitiligo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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