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July 1976

Photochemotherapy for Psoriasis With Orally Administered Methoxsalen

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Division of Experimental Dermatology, University of Vienna, and the Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Arch Dermatol. 1976;112(7):943-950. doi:10.1001/archderm.1976.01630310005001

• Photochemotherapy denotes a therapeutic approach that is based on the interaction of light and a photoactive drug. This study describes the efficacy of photochemotherapy, using orally administered methoxsalen and long-wave ultraviolet light in 91 patients with severe, generalized psoriasis. Oral administration of methoxsalen was followed by exposure to a high-intensity long-wave ultraviolet light source, emitting a continuous spectrum between 320 and 390 nm (peak, 365 nm) and an energy of 5.6 to 7.5 mw/sq cm at 15 cm. There was complete clearing of 82 patients (90%), a 90% to 100% clearing in seven (8%), and a satisfactory improvement in two (2%).

A paired comparison study in 54 patients showed photochemotherapy to be far more effective than ultraviolet light emitted by fluorescent bulbs or a xenon source. Eighty-five percent of the patients receiving outpatient maintenance treatment have remained in remission for periods up to 400 days.

(Arch Dermatol 112:943-950, 1976)