Photodynamic therapy (ALA-PDT) is usually used against ACNE, but it’s off label usage (against genital warts) is very effective and has very low reccurence rate.
The patient, a 30-year-old man with numerous genital condylomata acuminata (CA), has had unsuccessful treatment with liquid nitrogen, 20% podophyllin, and repeated 0.5% podophyllotoxin solution with 5% imiquimod (Figure 1). Before the appearance of CA, he experienced acute orchiepididimitis and a Candida infection. The patient was immunologically examined, and the lower level of lymphocytes, slightly reduced level of IgM, and C4 complement were revealed. Results from a human immunodeficiency virus examination were negative. After the therapeutic failure mentioned above, photodynamic therapy (PDT) was initiated using 20% aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) in a gel. The photosensitizer was applied to lesions and 10 mm of surrounding skin in a 1-mm-thick layer under occlusive dressing for 3 hours and then removed with saline and nonwoven gauze. The site was immediately irradiated with noncoherent red light with an emission spectrum of 580 to 680 nm wavelength (Medeikonos PDT-Model 200, Medeikonos AB, Sweden). The total light dose was 50 J/cm(2); light intensity ranged from 70 to 90 mW/cm(2). Because of persistent fluorescence during photodynamic therapy, the treatment was repeated 10 times in 2-week intervals with a follow-up of 1, 3, and 6 months after its completion. After the last PDT treatment, the persistent fluorescence disappeared completely. The absence of fluorescence corresponded with a healed clinical finding without scarring and pigmentation (Figure 2). The period from the initiation of PDT to the consolidation of CA was 22 weeks. During PDT treatment, the patient felt only mild burning, which disappeared after the illumination stopped. Six months after the therapy, there were no signs of recurrent disease.
Our trial provided a complete cure rate of nine of 15 subjects after five PDT sessions. Perianal lesions showed a particularly rapid remission. While progressing towards total lesion clearance, the immunohistochemical pattern was dominated by dense CD4+ T lymphocytes infiltrating the superficial dermis, accompanied by an accumulation of Langerhans cells. Simultaneously, CD8 began to increase in the lesions of responding patients, and Langerhans cells seemed to migrate towards the dermis. CD68+ macrophages apparently did not participate in the immune inflammatory response.
Genital warts were relieved in 107 out of the 110 cases (cure rate: 97.3%). Male patients had significantly better treatment outcomes at the urethral orifice than those in other affected parts. In the 107 patients, the cure rate of male patients was 98.8%, and they were cured after being treated four times. In contrast, female patients, who were cured after 5 times of treatment, had the cure rate of 91.7%. Their cure rates were similar (χ(2)=0, P>0.05), but the males were cured after significantly fewer times of treatment than the females (t=-7.432, P<0.05). Five patients suffered from mild tingling or burning sensation upon dressing at the urethral orifice, and the others were all free from systemic adverse reactions. After illumination, a small portion of the patients had mildly red, swelling, painful affected parts, with mild edema that almost disappeared within three days. Three patients relapsed at the urethral orifice and were then cured after further treatment.
European Dermatology Forum about Photodynamic therapy:
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