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Port-Wine Stains Redarken After Laser Treatment

Ten-year follow-up shows that, despite continued treatments, stains often redarken

WEDNESDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Redarkening of port-wine stain capillary malformations can occur many years after standard pulsed-dye-laser treatment, researchers report in the March 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Menno Huikeshoven, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues performed a 10-year follow-up of a previously conducted prospective study to investigate the long-term effect of pulsed-dye-laser treatment of port-wine stains. Overall, 51 of the original 89 patients were included in the study.

Although the patients had received a median of seven additional treatments since the original five average treatments in the initial study, objective color measurements determined that the stains were significantly darker than after the initial treatments. The stains were lighter than before treatment, however. While 59 percent of patients reported that the stain color was unchanged since the last treatment, 6 percent said it was lighter and 35 percent said it was darker.

"Although pulsed-dye-laser therapy remains the gold standard for the treatment of port-wine stains and has a persistent beneficial effect, the current study objectively shows that redarkening occurs at long-term follow-up," the authors write. "Therefore, we recommend that before commencing pulsed-dye-laser therapy, all patients should be informed of the possibility of redarkening of the stain after treatment."

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