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Comparison between the efficacy of photodynamic therapy and topical paromomycin in the treatment of Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis: a placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.

Author(s): Asilian A, Davami M

Affiliation(s): Department of Dermatology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

Publication date & source: 2006-09, Clin Exp Dermatol., 31(5):634-7. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: The optimal treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is not known. Topical paromomycin is one of the many drugs that have been suggested for the treatment of CL caused by Leishmania major. Recently, topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been reported to be effective in the treatment of CL. AIMS: To compare the parasitological and clinical efficacy of PDT vs. topical paromomycin in patients with Old World CL caused by L. major in Iran. METHODS: In this trial, 60 patients with the clinical and parasitological diagnosis of CL were recruited and were randomly divided into three treatment groups of 20 subjects each. Group 1 was treated with weekly topical PDT, and groups 2 and 3 received twice-daily topical paromomycin and placebo, respectively. The duration of treatment was 4 weeks for all groups. These groups were followed for 2 months after the end of treatment. RESULTS: In total, 57 patients with 95 lesions completed the study. At the end of the study, complete improvement was seen in 29 of 31 (93.5%), 14 of 34 (41.2%) and 4 of 30 lesions (13.3%) in groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively (P<0.001). At the same time point, 100%, 64.7% and 20% of the lesions had parasitological cure in group 1, 2 and 3, respectively (P<0.001). CONCLUSION: Topical PDT can be used safely as a rapid and highly effective alternative treatment choice for Old World CL in selected patients.

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