Repigmentation of vitiligo-associated leukotrichia after autologous, non-cultured melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation

Authors

  • Mohammed I. Al Jasser MD,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    2. Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Fahad National Guard Hospital, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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  • Bassel Ghwish MD,

    1. National Center for Vitiligo and Psoriasis, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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  • Ahmed Al Issa MD,

    1. National Center for Vitiligo and Psoriasis, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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  • Sanjeev V. Mulekar MD

    Corresponding author
    1. National Center for Vitiligo and Psoriasis, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    • Correspondence

      Sanjeev V. Mulekar, md

      National Center for Vitiligo and Psoriasis

      PO Box 300320

      Riyadh 11372

      Saudi Arabia

      E-mail: mulekar@gmail.com

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  • Conflict of interest: None.

Abstract

Background

Many cases of leukotrichia are associated with vitiligo. Hair follicles are believed to be the source of melanocytes for skin repigmentation using standard medical therapy for vitiligo. Vitiliginous areas with overlying leukotrichia usually fail to achieve repigmentation by conventional medical treatments as a result of a deficient melanocyte reservoir. Even after the successful repigmentation of vitiliginous skin by medical therapies, leukotrichia hairs may remain depigmented, causing a major psychological impact to the patient. In such cases, surgical treatments may help to achieve the repigmentation of leukotrichia hairs. Reports of successful repigmentation in leukotrichia using different surgical treatments for vitiligo are few.

Objective

This study reports the benefit of autologous non-cultured melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation (MKT) in patients with vitiligo-associated leukotrichia.

Methods

We report four cases of vitiligo-associated leukotrichia treated with MKT.

Results

All four patients showed significant repigmentation in vitiligo-associated leukotrichia after MKT.

Conclusions

Melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation may represent a good therapeutic option for the repigmentation of vitiligo-associated leukotrichia. This series includes only four responsive cases. Larger prospective studies are needed to determine the true response rate and mechanism of repigmentation.

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