Treatment of vitiligo with narrowband-UVB (TL01) combined with tacrolimus ointment (0.1%) vs. placebo ointment, a randomized right/left double-blind comparative study.
Department of Dermatology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway Nordbergklinikken, Oslo, Norway.
Background Only a few, small double-blind clinical trials have been reported for the treatment of vitiligo. Narrowband-ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) is an established form of treatment for this condition. Tacrolimus ointment is assumed to have an effect in some patients.
Objectives: To assess the additive effect of tacrolimus ointment (0.1%) once daily in vitiligo patients treated with NB-UVB. Methods In a randomized double-blind trial, patients with stable symmetrical vitiligo were treated half-side with tacrolimus ointment (0.1%) and half-side with placebo ointment. Whole body NB-UVB was given twice or thrice weekly for at least 3 months. As a morphometric device, Visitrak(TM) was used to measure the area of the vitiligo target lesions.
Results: Of 40 patients, 27 had a better effect on the tacrolimus side. The degree of improvement was significantly better on the tacrolimus side (P = 0.005). The median reduction in the target lesion areas was 42.1% on the tacrolimus side and 29% on the placebo side. There was a correlation between the effect and the number of topical tacrolimus applications (P = 0.044), but there was no correlation with the number of UV treatments given; neither any significance of gender, age, skin type, duration of disease, familial occurrence of vitiligo nor presence of other autoimmune disease or atopy was observed. We found a significant reduction in the patients' subjective disease impact during the treatment period (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: According to this study, the combination of NB-UVB and tacrolimus ointment (0.1%) is more effective than UV treatment alone in patients with vitiligo. The effect is tacrolimus total dose-dependent.
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2011 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.