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Keywords:

  • cryotherapy;
  • curettage;
  • electrodesiccation;
  • pyogenic granuloma;
  • randomized trial;
  • scar

Summary

Background  Pyogenic granuloma is a benign vascular lesion of the skin and mucous membranes. Many different treatments have been used, with variable success rates.

Objectives  To evaluate and compare the effects of cryotherapy and curettage in the treatment of pyogenic granuloma.

Methods  Eighty-nine patients with pyogenic granuloma were randomized to receive cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen or curettage and electrodesiccation. Forty patients in the cryotherapy group and 36 patients in the curettage group completed the study period.

Results  Among the patients who completed the study, treatment resulted in complete resolution of all lesions after one to three sessions (mean 1·42) in the cryotherapy group and after one to two sessions (mean 1·03) in the curettage group. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant (P < 0·001). Twenty-three patients (57·5%) in the cryotherapy group and 25 patients (69%) in the curettage group had no scar or pigmentation abnormality. Except for cosmetic problems, no other side-effect or complication was recorded in the study.

Conclusions  This study showed that both cryotherapy and curettage are safe and effective. Curettage had the advantage of fewer treatment sessions required to achieve resolution and better cosmetic results. We suggest that curettage could be the first-line treatment for pyogenic granuloma.