, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 1365-1370
Date: 01 Feb 2014

Variables affecting clinical response to treatment of facial port-wine stains by flash lamp-pumped pulsed dye laser: the importance of looking beyond the skin

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The response of port-wine stains (PWS) to conventional laser treatment in adults is difficult to predict. To assess the influence of local or systemic hemodynamic variables on the clearance of PWS by using flash lamp-pumped pulsed (FLPP) dye laser. All consecutive patients ages 18 years or older undergoing laser treatment for a facial PWS were eligible. Laser sessions were scheduled every 8 weeks. All patients were evaluated based on a standard scale with four evaluation categories, from no or minimal improvement to total or almost total clearance. Clearance was achieved by 50.1 % (95 % confidence interval 35.6–64.7) of patients after a maximum of 15 treatment sessions. In multivariate analysis, increased age, a newly described Type III capillaroscopic pattern, and presence of lesions in dermatome V2 were all associated with a reduced clinical response to treatment. In a model restricted to demographic pattern and patient characteristics, arterial hypertension was also associated with a lower clinical response. A strong association was found between arterial hypertension and the Type III capillaroscopic pattern. Age, arterial hypertension, capillaroscopic pattern, and body location should be considered when planning laser treatment of PWS.