Pulsed dye laser as an excellent choice of treatment for lupus tumidus: a prospective study


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M.T. Truchuelo. E-mail:maytetd@yahoo.es


Background  Clinical manifestations of cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) vary widely, and different subtypes of this autoimmune disease exist. Tumidus subtype (LT) has been recently separated from the chronic subtypes and is now considered an independent entity due to its particular clinical and histological features. Different treatments are usually prescribed for CLE. Our group has experience of CLE effectively treated with pulsed dye laser (PDL). It was our impression that better responses were achieved in the LT subtype, but no controlled prospective studies with PDL have been specifically performed.

Materials and methods  A prospective study was performed on 10 patients with histologically confirmed LT treated with PDL. All patients were treated with 595 nm PDL using the 10 mm spot size at 0.5 ms pulse width and a fluence of 8 J/cm2. Biopsies were taken before and 4 weeks after treatment and were stained with haematoxylin–eosin.

Results  Evaluation after PDL treatment showed clinical improvement in all of them without side-effects and reduction of the dermal lymphocytic infiltrate in 9/10 of the patients. Epidermal changes were absent in all patients. Mucin deposition persisted only in one patient. However, 50% of the patients developed new lesions nearby or distant to the treated zones.

Conclusions  PDL therapy is an effective and fast treatment option for acute flares of LT; however, it does not prevent recurrences. A histological improvement has been confirmed in this study. Purpura seems to be necessary to achieve a good response.