BACKGROUND: A large variety of therapeutic agents are being used for the treatment of vitiligo, but treatment remains a challenge. Recently, monochromatic phototherapies such as 311-nm narrowband ultraviolet B therapy and 308-nm xenon chloride excimer laser have been reported to be an effective and safe therapeutic option in children and adult patients with vitiligo. Single reports stipulate that the addition of topically applied calcipotriol to phototherapy increases its effectiveness.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the present pilot study was to determine if the addition of topical calcipotriol increases the efficacy of the 308-nm xenon chloride excimer in the treatment of vitiligo.
METHODS: Ten patients with vitiligo with essentially bilateral symmetrical lesions were enrolled in this prospective right/left comparative, single-blinded trial conducted over a 15-month period. All patients received 308-nm XeCl excimer laser therapy three times weekly. Calcipotriol ointment (Daivonex) was applied to lesions on one side of the body twice daily.
RESULTS: After 24 treatments (8 weeks), nine patients were evaluated. Eight patients showed evidence of repigmentation on both body sides, with no significant difference between the body side treated with calcipotriol and excimer laser and the side treated with excimer laser alone. The mean repigmentation rate was 22.4% (1-37%).
CONCLUSION: The addition of calcipotriol ointment to 308-nm xenon chloride excimer laser phototherapy does not significantly enhance its efficacy. Small additive effects must be investigated in a larger trial.