Vitiligo is an acquired disorder of pigmentation caused by loss of epidermal melanocytes. Autologous noncultured epidermal cell suspension (NCES) and autologous noncultured extracted hair follicle outer root sheath cell suspension (NCORSHFS) are important surgical modalities for the treatment of stable vitiligo.


To compare NCES and NCORSHFS for producing repigmentation in stable vitiligo.


We randomized 30 patients with 47 stable vitiligo lesions into two groups. Patients in group 1 were treated with NCES, and those in group 2 with NCORSHFS. They were evaluated 16 weeks postsurgery for the extent of repigmentation, colour match, change in Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) score and patient satisfaction.


The extent of repigmentation was excellent (90–100% repigmentation) in 83% of lesions in the NCES group and 65% of lesions in the NCORSHFS group (= 0·154). Repigmentation ≥ 75% (good repigmentation) was observed in 92% of lesions in the NCES group and 78% of lesions in the NCORSHFS group (= 0·425). There was a significant improvement in DLQI score in both the groups, but the mean decrease among groups did not differ significantly (= 0·244). However, patients in the NCES group were significantly more satisfied than the patients in the NCORSHFS group. No significant difference was seen in colour match and pattern of repigmentation. Adverse effects were minimal.


Both NCES and NCORSHFS are safe and effective techniques with comparable efficacy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study directly comparing two different cellular techniques.