Background and Objective. Subpurpuric treatments with the pulsed dye laser can be effective for treatment of vascular lesions, although less so than when purpuric fluences are used. Increased efficacy may be achieved by performing multiple passes at the time of treatment. We performed a split-face bilateral paired comparison of multiple low-fluence subpurpuric passes compared with a single high-fluence purpuric pass in the treatment of facial telangiectasias.
Materials and Methods. Nine patients were included in the study. One cheek was chosen to be treated with four passes of a nonpurpuric fluence, and the contralateral cheek was treated with a single purpuric pass. Reductions in vessel density, diameter, arborization, and background erythema were evaluated 3 weeks after treatment.
Results. We found a 43.4% reduction in surface area covered by telangiectasias on the cheek treated with a single purpuric pass compared with 35.9% on the cheek treated with four subpurpuric passes. The purpuric fluences produced greater reduction in vessel diameter and arborization, whereas the subpurpuric protocol was more effective in reducing background erythema. Purpuric fluences were also noted to produce more significant edema and transient hyperpigmentation in one patient.
Conclusion. The multipass subpurpuric approach to treatment with the pulsed dye laser is both cosmetically acceptable and effective, although purpuric treatments may be required to effectively eliminate larger-caliber, more highly networked vessels.