Background: Narrow band (NB)-UVB has been used in the treatment of vitiligo for years but statistical evaluation of the clinical response in both segmental and non-segmental vitiligo patients has yet to be assessed.
Objectives: Statistical evaluation of the clinical response of vitiligo patients to NB-UVB in both segmental and non-segmental types affecting different body sites.
Methods: This study included 150 patients with vitiligo either segmental (10%) or non-segmental (90%). NB-UVB therapy was given twice weekly till reaching our end point of 100% re-pigmentation or a cut point in unresponsive cases. Evaluation of the percentage of re-pigmentation was performed by total body photography and planimetry every 8 weeks.
Results: The overall response to therapy in the non-segmental vitiligo group demonstrated that 48% of the patients showed marked response, 27% showed moderate response and 25% showed mild response after UVB therapy. The patients showed marked response in 76.3% in face lesions, 41.9% in trunk lesions and 37.6% in limbs lesions. None of the patients in the acral areas achieved marked response. The mean duration of therapy was 7.8 months. Moreover, the results demonstrated that the earlier the patient was treated, the better the response was especially for lesions on the face, trunk and limbs. On the other hand, in the segmental vitiligo group, patients showed no more than mild response to NB-UVB whatever the site of the lesion was. No side effects were encountered with NB-UVB therapy except for aggravation of the disease in two cases and erythema in one patient who was an outdoor worker and was skin type II.
Conclusion: The type of vitiligo, the affected anatomical area and the disease duration are important factors that influence potential re-pigmentation.