Background Various surgical and non-surgical methods are available to treat vitiligo. Surgical techniques such as epidermal blister graft transplantation may be effective for the re-pigmentation of stable, but refractory vitiligo areas. Khellin has phototherapeutic properties that are similar to those of the psoralens, but with substantially lower phototoxic effects and DNA mutation effects. Its penetration into the hair follicles is enhanced by encapsulating it into liposomes. Subsequent activation of the khellin with UV light stimulates the melanocytes in the hair follicles. Objective The first objective was to evaluate the additional value of combining blister roof transplantation (BRT) with khellin in liposomes and ultraviolet light (KLUV) in the treatment of recalcitrant vitiligo patches. The second objective was to assess patients' satisfaction. Materials and methods Nineteen patients with vitiligo lesions which did not respond to KLUV treatment for at least a year were treated with BRT followed by KLUV. The transplantation was performed by creating blisters with a suction device, preparing the target site with Erbium laser ablation and the actual transplantation. Locations where randomly assigned. A blinded observer established the results. Results Seventy-five percent of the patients were satisfied with the cosmetic result. All of the patients would recommend the treatment to other vitiligo patients. More than 75% re-pigmentation of the vitiligo areas was noted in 47% of the patients according to the blinded evaluation of photographs taken before and after the treatment.

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Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Leeuw, J., Assen, Y., van der Beek, N., Bjerring, P. N., & Neumann, M. (2011). Treatment of vitiligo with khellin liposomes, ultraviolet light and blister roof transplantation. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 25(1), 74–81. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03701.x