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Keywords:

  • narrowband UVB;
  • paediatric psoriasis;
  • phototherapy;
  • psoriasis therapy;
  • ultraviolet therapy

Abstract

Narrowband UV-B is a safe and efficacious option for the treatment of adult psoriasis. However, the use of this therapy has been limited in children due to its long-term carcinogenic potential. It has proven to be an adequate alternative in patients whose condition is refractory to topical treatment.

Aims  To evaluate the efficacy and short-term safety of narrowband UV-B in the treatment of paediatric psoriasis, and to compare our results with those obtained in other studies on paediatric psoriasis.

Materials and methods  Over a period of 2 years and 4 months, we administered narrowband UV-B to 20 children diagnosed with psoriasis that was refractory to topical therapy. The therapeutic response was measured using the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI).

Results  Between August 2005 and December 2007, 20 children received narrowband UV-B. Their median age was 13 years (range, 5–17 years), and the median initial PASI score was 8.25 (2.7–22.2). A median of 28 (10–59) sessions was required to achieve clearance, reaching almost complete or total remission (median final PASI) in all but two patients. Six patients required a new therapeutic course because of relapse, and the mean duration of remission was 8 months (4–18). No patients experienced severe adverse events during therapy, and only one discontinued treatment, for unrelated reasons.

Discussion and conclusion  Narrowband UV-B for the treatment of paediatric psoriasis has received little attention in the literature. This treatment has been limited in children because of its potential long-term carcinogenic effects, and most information has been extrapolated from adults. Nevertheless, narrowband UV-B phototherapy is an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic alternative in paediatric patients with severe psoriasis.