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Narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy in children with moderate-to-severe eczema: a comparative cohort study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Aileen Taylor


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Background There is only retrospective evidence for the efficacy of narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) in children with eczema. Objectives To measure the difference in means for objective scores [Six Area Six Sign Atopic Dermatitis score (SASSAD), percentage surface area] and quality-of-life scores, between patients treated with NB-UVB and unexposed cohorts at the end of treatment, and 3 and 6 months post-treatment.Methods Twenty-nine children aged 3-16 years for whom NB-UVB was indicated, were scored prospectively using SASSAD and percentage surface area involvement at baseline, at 12 weeks (end of treatment) and 3 and 6 months post-NB-UVB. Their scores were compared with those of unexposed children (n = 26) for whom NB-UVB phototherapy was indicated and offered, but who chose not to undertake treatment.Results There was a 61% reduction in mean SASSAD score in the NB-UVB cohort compared with an increase of 6% in the unexposed cohort. Mean SASSAD score for the NB-UVB cohort at the end of treatment was 11.6 vs. 24.8 for the unexposed; difference in means -13.2 [95% confidence interval (CI) -18.7 to -7.7, P < 0.0001]. Mean surface area involvement at the end of treatment was 11% for the NB-UVB cohort vs. 36% for the unexposed cohort; difference in means -25% (95% CI -34% to -16%, P < 0.0001). Subjective and quality-of-life scores showed significant difference between cohorts at the end of treatment (P < 0.05). Objective scores remained significantly lower than in the unexposed cohort 3 and 6 months after treatment.Conclusion NB-UVB is clinically effective and improves quality of life in children with moderate-to-severe eczema. The effect is maintained for 6 months after treatment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Darne S, Leech SN, Taylor AEM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Dermatology

Year: 2014

Volume: 170

Issue: 1

Pages: 150-156

Print publication date: 13/01/2014

ISSN (print): 0007-0963

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2133

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing


DOI: 10.1111/bjd.12580


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