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Port-Wine Stains Respond Best to Variable-Pulse Laser

However, smallest vessels do not respond well to conventional or variable-pulse laser treatment

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Variable-pulse pulsed dye laser treatment is more effective than conventional pulse dye laser therapy for the treatment of port-wine stains, but neither treatment can effectively treat vessels less than 30 μm in diameter, according to study findings published in the August issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

Taro Kono, M.D., of Tokyo Women's Medical University in Japan, and colleagues conducted a study of 40 Asian patients with Fitzpatrick skin types III to IV, all of whom had reached a treatment plateau after at least eight treatments with pulsed dye laser. They were given four treatments with variable-pulse pulsed dye laser at eight-week intervals for each lesion.

The treatment achieved excellent results in eight patients, while nine saw good improvement and 11 had fair improvement. However, results were poor for 12 patients. After final treatment, biopsy samples revealed that there were no vessels larger than 30 μm.

"Finding an appropriate port-wine stain treatment protocol has become more complicated recently secondary to laser manufacturers introducing devices that allow the operator to vary several treatment parameters such as wavelength, pulse duration, light dosage, and skin cooling," the authors note. "Further studies are warranted to find the optimal treatment parameters for port-wine stains."

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