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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2017 April;152(2):117-21

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.16.05272-X


language: English

New therapeutic approaches in the treatment of anogenital lichen sclerosus: does photodynamic therapy represent a novel option?

Anna A. CRISCUOLO 1, Caterina SCHIPANI 2, Maria V. CANNIZZARO 2, Serena MESSINESE 2, Sergio CHIMENTI 2, Emilio PICCIONE 1, Rosita SARACENO 2

1 Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Tor Vergata University Hospital, Rome, Italy; 2 Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Tor Vergata University Hospital, Rome, Italy


BACKGROUND: Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (LSA) is an inflammatory, mucocutaneous disorder that affects male and especially female with a debilitating impact on the quality of life. Common localization is the anogenital area. If not treated LSA can leave scars, functional impairment and can evolve in squamous cell carcinoma. The first line of treatment is represented by topical, ultra-potent corticosteroids, but often patients are unresponsive; moreover this therapy is frequently associated to relapses of the disease after discontinuation.
METHODS: In this prospective observational study, the efficacy of three different treatments — topical calcineurin inhibitors, avocado and soya beans extracts, and methyl aminolevulinate photodynamic therapy (MAL-PDT) — was evaluated, and an effort has been made to define a therapeutic algorithm according to the severity of the disease.
RESULTS: Of the 150 patients who were referred to the outpatient clinic for a dermatological and gynecological visit, 33 met the inclusion criteria. Sixteen (88%) patients showed an improvement of the lesion and a reduction of the itch; 3 (16.7%) patients with sever itch and fissurated lesions were evaluated for the MAL-PDT therapy. A total of 9 patients, after accurate examination of the lesions, were treated with MAL-PDT. The totality of the patients experienced a resolution of the lesions.
CONCLUSIONS: In the early stages the use of ASE can represent a valid alternative that is well tolerated by the patients reducing the itching, dryness and improving the mucosal texture. The use of MAL-PDT represents a valid treatment in the moderate-severe stages of LSA.

KEY WORDS: Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus - Photochemotherapy - Therapeutics

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