Clinical efficacy of psoralen + sunlight vs. combination of isotretinoin and psoralen + sunlight for the treatment of chronic plaque-type psoriasis vulgaris: a randomized hospital-based study


  • Conflicts of interest:

    P. G. and N. M. have received honoraria as speakers fees from Ranbaxy India, Intas Pharmaceuticals, Talent India and Microlabs India. The remaining authors report no conflict of interest.



Isotretinoin has been used in combination with oral psoralen + UVA (PUVA) and narrowband UVB (NBUVB) for treating psoriasis, especially in women of child-bearing age. The efficacy of oral psoralen + sun exposure (PUVAsol) is comparable to that of PUVA. This study was planned to compare the efficacy of oral PUVAsol with that of the combination of oral isotretinoin and PUVAsol in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis.


Forty patients with psoriasis vulgaris were randomized to two groups. Group A (control group) received PUVAsol only. Group B (intervention group) received PUVAsol + isotretinoin (0.5 mg/kg/day). Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) score was recorded at baseline and weeks 4, 8 and 12. Dermatology Life Quality Index was assessed at baseline and 12 weeks. The end point of the study was PASI 75 or 12 weeks, whichever came earlier.


Thirty-five patients completed the study. There were statistically significant differences between the two study groups for the number of patients achieving the endpoint of PASI 75, PASI scores at the end of 12 weeks, mean duration to achieve PASI 75, number of PUVAsol sessions needed to achieve PASI75 and mean cumulative dosage of 8-methoxypsoralen needed to achieve PASI 75.


The combination of isotretinoin with PUVAsol is more effective compared with PUVAsol alone for treating chronic plaque psoriasis.