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Concept: Vitiligo


Abstract Background: Several treatment modalities had been used for the treatment of vitiligo but the optimal treatment has not yet been identified. Aim: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intradermal injection of 5-flurouracil (5-FU) combined with narrow-band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) as a treatment option for vitiligo. Patients and methods: The study included 60 vitiligo patients with overall symmetrical lesions affecting less than 30% of body surface area. For each patient, one side of the body was treated with NB-UVB alone (control side) while the other side was treated with NB-UVB therapy in addition to intradermal injection of 5-FU (50 mg/ml), 0.01-0.02 ml per injection with 1 cm apart in skin of vitiligo, every 2 weeks for 4 months. Results: The overall repigmentation was significantly higher in the 5-FU side compared with control side in all body parts (p < 0.001) except for the acral lesions where the difference was not significant (p = 0.561). No systemic side effects of 5-FU were detected, and the majority of the patients reported pain during injections. Conclusions: Intradermal 5-FU injection in combination with NB-UVB could be considered as a simple, safe, tolerable and cheap technique for treatment of vitiligo. It shortens the duration of NB-UVB therapy and improves the outcome, repigmentation. Longer follow-up is needed.

Concepts: Pharmacology, English-language films, Human skin color, Vitiligo, Psoralen


Vitiligo, an acquired pigmentary disorder of unknown origin, is the most frequent cause of depigmentation worldwide, with an estimated prevalence of 1%. The disorder can be psychologically devastating and stigmatising, especially in dark skinned individuals. Vitiligo is clinically characterised by the development of white macules due to the loss of functioning melanocytes in the skin or hair, or both. Two forms of the disease are well recognised: segmental and non-segmental vitiligo (the commonest form). To distinguish between these two forms is of prime importance because therapeutic options and prognosis are quite different. The importance of early treatment and understanding of the profound psychosocial effect of vitiligo will be emphasised throughout this Seminar.

Concepts: Disease, Skin, Theory of Forms, Vitiligo


Standard treatment for thyroid eye disease is with systemic corticosteroids. We aimed to establish whether orbital radiotherapy or antiproliferative immunosuppression would confer any additional benefit.

Concepts: Immune system, Epidemiology, Cancer, Randomized controlled trial, Chemotherapy, Corticosteroid, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Vitiligo


Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease in which cutaneous depigmentation occurs. Existing therapies are often inadequate. Prior reports have shown benefit of the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors.

Concepts: Inhibitor, Autoimmune diseases, Vitiligo


In patients with vitiligo, the clinical and laboratory features of the disease may vary according to time of onset. This is addressed in the literature by only a few studies with conflicting results. The aim of this study was to determine the demographic and clinical features of patients with non-segmental vitiligo and to establish the association between vitiligo and autoimmune diseases with a focus on time of disease onset. A total of 224 vitiligo patients for whom complete medical records were available were evaluated retrospectively. Demographic data, scores on the Vitiligo Area Score Index (VASI), clinical features, vitiligo disease activity, repigmentation status, presence of any accompanying autoimmune disease, antinuclear antibody (ANA) titers, serum levels of glucose, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4) hormone, anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO), and anti-thyroglobulin (anti-TG) were recorded. The prevalence of halo nevi was significantly higher (P < 0.001) among children than in other patient groups. The prevalence of leukotrichia was higher in adults with adult-onset disease than in either pediatric patients or adults with childhood-onset disease (P = 0.002). Both anti-TG and anti-TPO levels were significantly higher in adults with adult-onset disease than in pediatric patients and adult patients with childhood-onset disease. The prevalence of autoimmune disease was 22.2%. Anti-TG levels were significantly higher in patients with treatment-related repigmentation than in those without repigmentation. This study shows that clinical features and associations with autoimmune disease may vary according to the age of onset of vitiligo.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Disease, Demography, Autoimmune disease, Graves' disease, Autoimmune diseases, Vitiligo


Vitiligo is a common autoimmune disease of the skin that results in disfiguring white spots. There are no FDA-approved treatments, and current treatments are time-consuming, expensive, and have low efficacy. We sought to identify new treatments for vitiligo, and first considered repurposed medications because of the availability of safety data and expedited regulatory approval. We previously reported that the IFN-γ-induced chemokine CXCL10 is expressed in lesional skin from vitiligo patients, and that it is critical for the progression and maintenance of depigmentation in our mouse model of vitiligo. We hypothesized that targeting IFN-γ signaling might be an effective new treatment strategy. STAT1 activation is required for IFN-γ signaling and recent studies revealed that simvastatin, an FDA-approved cholesterol-lowering medication, inhibited STAT1 activation in vitro. Therefore, we hypothesized that simvastatin may be an effective treatment for vitiligo. We found that simvastatin both prevented and reversed depigmentation in our mouse model of vitiligo, and reduced the number of infiltrating autoreactive CD8(+) T cells in the skin. Treatment of melanocyte-specific, CD8(+) T cells in vitro decreased proliferation and IFN-γ production, suggesting additional effects of simvastatin directly on T cells. Based on these data, simvastatin may be a safe, targeted treatment option for patients with vitiligo.Journal of Investigative Dermatology accepted article preview online, 18 December 2014. doi:10.1038/jid.2014.529.

Concepts: Effectiveness, Cost, Pharmaceutical drug, Vitiligo


Recently, multiple culprits-in addition to melanocytes-have been implicated in the pathogenesis of vitiligo. Among those factors are fibroblasts. However, their exact role has not been clearly elucidated. The aim of the study was to evaluate the possible role played by fibroblasts in vitiligo via studying the expression Tenascin C and DKK1 in acral versus non-acral vitiligo lesions. This case-control study included 19 non-segmental vitiligo patients and ten controls. All patients were subjected to thorough clinical evaluation. Both Tenascin C and DKK1 were measured in lesional and peri-lesional skin of acral and non-acral lesions using ELISA technique. The measured levels of Tenascin C and DKK1 were significantly higher in the vitiligo group when compared to controls in all assessed sites (P < 0.05). Tenascin C was found to be significantly higher in lesional areas compared to peri-lesional ones only in the acral sites. DKK1 was significantly higher in lesional areas in all assessed sites (P < 0.05). The current work suggests a malfunction of fibroblasts in vitiligo, through demonstrating significant up-regulation of two melanogenesis inhibitory products (Tenascin C and DKK1) in patients compared to controls. Larger scale studies are warranted to detect the possible implications of such findings on vitiligo treatment.

Concepts: Epidemiology, ELISA, Study skills, Case-control study, Vitiligo, Tenascin, Tenascin C


This study aims to explore the expression of RORγt, BATF, and IL-17 in Chinese vitiligo patients with 308 nm excimer laser treatment. One hundred and sixty-four vitiligo patients treated with 308 nm excimer laser were enrolled as Case group and 137 health examiners as Control group. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry were conducted to detect the expressions of RORγt, BATF, and IL-17. Expression of RORγt, BATF, IL-17A, and IL-17F were higher in Case group than Control group, with the diagnostic accuracy of 88.04, 87.38, 97.34, and 89.04%, respectively. Pearson correlation analysis showed a positive correlation in RORγt, BATF, IL-17A, and IL-17F mRNAs in vitiligo patients. Moreover, their expressions were higher in active vitiligo patients than stable ones. Besides, the expressions of RORγt, BATF, IL-17A, and IL-17F in vitiligo skin were significantly higher than those in non lesional skin and normal controls. After treatment, their expressions were significantly decreased. Active vitiligo and the high expressions of RORγt, BATF, and IL-17F were the independent risk factors for the ineffectiveness of 308 nm excimer laser treatment. The expressions of RORγt, BATF, IL-17 were significantly enhanced in vitiligo patients, which were correlated with the activity of vitiligo and 308 nm excimer laser therapeutic effects.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Polymerase chain reaction, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, Correlation and dependence, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Excimer laser, Vitiligo


Several studies have reported hyperhomocysteinemia in vitiligo patients, suggesting the potential role of elevated homocysteine levels in precipitating vitiligo.

Concepts: Homocysteine, Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, Homocystinuria, Vitiligo, Hyperhomocysteinemia


Vitiligo is an acquired disorder of depigmentation resulting from the loss of functional epidermal melanocytes. It has a worldwide prevalence of 0.5-2%. Vitiligo can have a major negative impact on patients' quality of life.Current treatments include topical corticosteroids and immunomodulators, systemic immunosuppressants, cosmetic camouflage, ultraviolet radiation and surgical procedures, e.g. punch grafting. Recently, targeted phototherapy using the 308-nm xenon-chloride (XeCl) monochromatic excimer light (MEL) delivered by a laser or a lamp emitting non-coherent monochromatic light has been used. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Laser, Sunlight, Fluorescent lamp, All rights reserved, Copyright, Light therapy, Vitiligo