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29-07-2010 | Dermatology | Article

Melanocyte transplantation effective in children and adults with vitiligo


Free abstract

MedWire News: Study results show that transplantation of autologous cultured pure melanocytes is an effective technique for treating children and adolescents with refractory and stabilized vitiligo.

The results are comparable to those achieved in adults, say the researchers, who add that "this procedure can be considered in refractory and stable vitiligo in children and adolescents, especially in patients with large vitiliginous lesions," they add.

Ai-E Xu (Hangzhou Institute of Dermatology and Venereology, China), and colleagues recruited 12 children (8-12 years), 20 adolescents (13-17 years), and 70 adults (18 years or older) with refractory and stable vitiligo to take part in this study.

The team isolated melanocytes from the roof of a suction blister, created on the patients normally pigmented skin from the abdomen or buttock. The cells were then cultured and expanded in vitro using Hu16 medium.

Prior to transplantation, lidocaine cream was applied to the recipient areas, which then had the epidermis removed using an ultra pulse CO2 laser. Following this, a suspension of autologous cultured pure melanocytes at a density of 600-1000 cells/mm3 was applied.

Satisfactory results, classified as repigmentation of 50% or more in the affected area, occurred in 83.3%, 95.0%, and 84.0% of children, adolescents, and adults, respectively.

The mean extent of repigmentation in the respective three groups was 80.7%, 78.9%, and 76.6%, with no statistically significant differences between them.

Adjustment for gender, type of vitiligo, period of stability, lesion location, or transplanted cell density did not significantly influence the results.

Xu and co-authors conclude that their results indicate that "for refractory and stable vitiligo in children and adolescents, surgical techniques may be considered as an acceptable and efficacious therapy to obtain repigmentation."

The results of this study are published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert

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