Laser-mediated Photodynamic Therapy: An Alternative Treatment for Actinic Keratosis?

Janneke P. H. M. Kessels*, Patty J. Nelemans, Klara Mosterd, Nicole W. J. Kelleners-Smeets, Gertruud A. M. Krekels, Judith U. Ostertag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with light emitting diode (LED) illumination is a frequently used treatment modality for actinic keratosis (AK) with excellent cosmetic outcome. A major disadvantage, however, is the high pain score. Pulsed dye laser (PDL) illumination has been suggested, but the long-term efficacy of this treatment is unknown. In this split-face study we prospectively treated 61 patients with AK, with both LED-PDT and PDL-PDT. The mean change in the number of lesions between the end of follow-up and start of therapy was 4.25 (95% confidence interval (95% CI)-5.07; 3.43) for LED-PDT and 3.88 (95% CI 4,76; 2.99) for PDL-PDT, with a non-significant difference (p=0.258) of-0.46 (95% CI -1.28; 0.35). The percentage decrease from baseline in the total number of AK was 55.8% and 47.8%, respectively, at 12-month follow-up. Visual analogue scale pain score was lower after PDL (mean 2.64) compared with LED illumination (mean 6.47). These findings indicate that PDL-PDT is an effective alternative illumination source for AK when pain is a limiting factor for regular LED-PDT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-354
JournalActa Dermato-Venereologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • pulsed dye laser
  • actinic keratosis
  • photodynamic therapy

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