Author(s): Forti S, Percivalle S, Piccinno R, Caccialanza M
Phototherapy using narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) is considered among the treatments of choice in vitiligo, even in childhood. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the profile of safety and effectiveness of such therapy in a group of children. An open, uncontrolled study was performed on 28 children with vitiligo who were receiving narrow band UVB phototherapy. The children were classified according to vitiligo type and phototype. Family history and presence of thyroid disease were investigated. Eighteen patients had received other treatments that was stopped 3 months before starting phototherapy. Phototherapy was administered twice a week. The mean duration of therapy was 10 ± 3.4 months. The mean total dose administered was 156.12 ± 79.4 J/cm(2). Photographs of lesions were taken before and at the end of treatment. The response to phototherapy was expressed as percentage of repigmentation. The data were statistically analyzed using SPSS (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL). Fourteen percent of patients showed excellent response, 28.6% good response, 25% moderate response, and 28.6% mild response; the remaining 3.5% were not responsive. No side effects were observed except mild erythema requiring a decrease in dosage in a few patients. The results of the present study confirm those of other authors, with better results than adults probably related to good adherence of patients and their families. Nevertheless, high cumulative doses are not necessarily related to a good response. Therefore, we suggest stopping treatment after 6 months in nonresponding cases.