Background Most conventional therapies for condylomata acuminata (CA) are traumatic and have high recurrence rates.
Objectives To investigate the efficacy and safety of topical application of 5-aminolaevulinic acid (ALA) photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of CA.
Methods Sixty-five patients with CA were allocated into the treatment (ALA-PDT) group and treated with 20% ALA solution under occlusive dressing for 3 h followed by irradiation with the helium–neon laser at a dose of 100 J cm−2 and a power of 100 mW. Another 21 CA patients were allocated into the control group and treated with the CO2 laser. The treatment was to be repeated 1 week later if the lesion was not completely removed after the first treatment.
Results After one treatment, the complete removal rate was 95% in the ALA-PDT group and 100% in the control group. After two treatments with ALA-PDT, the complete removal rate in the treatment group was 100%. The recurrence rate for ALA-PDT group was 6·3% which was significantly lower than that in control group (19·1%, P < 0·05). Moreover, the proportion of patients with adverse effects in the ALA-PDT group (13·9%) was also significantly lower than that in control group (100%, P < 0·05). The side-effects in patients treated with ALA-PDT mainly included mild burning and/or stinging restricted to the illuminated area.
Conclusions The present study shows that topical application of ALA-PDT is a simpler, more effective and safer therapy with a lower recurrence for treatment of CA compared with conventional CO2 laser therapy.