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Summary

Background

Vitiligo is a disfiguring condition that can cause considerable psychological distress to patients. Vitiligo lesions on acral areas and joints are considered difficult to treat, and they are unsuitable for surgical treatment because of their poor response. There are few studies on the management of those lesions with noncultured epidermal cell suspension transplantation.

Aim

To evaluate the efficacy of a modified procedure using noncultured epidermal cell suspension transplantation in the management of vitiligo lesions over acral areas and joints.

Methods

We retrospectively analysed data for patients who had undergone non-cultured epidermal cell suspension transplantation for treatment of vitiligo. In total, 36 patients with 80 lesions over acral areas and joints were reviewed: 33 patients had generalized vitiligo, while the remaining three patients had focal vitiligo, and they had been followed up for 6–18 months.

Results

Of the 80 treated lesions, 51 had regained > 75% repigmentation and 23 had regained 50–75% repigmentation. The remaining six lesions, which were all no the distal fingers or toes and the ankle joint, had a poor response.

Conclusions

Non-cultured epidermal cell suspension transplantation was successful in producing some degree of repigmentation in our patients, and could be a useful therapy for vitiligo lesions.