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February 1993

Anatomical Differences of Port-Wine Stains in Response to Treatment With the Pulsed Dye Laser

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(2):182-188. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680230066007

• Background and Design.—  Anecdotal reports and clinical observations have suggested that the response of port-wine stains to treatment with the pulsed dye laser is variable and dependent on the anatomical location of the lesion. To investigate anatomical variation in response to treatment, a retrospective study of 259 adults and children with port-wine stains of the head and neck treated with the pulsed dye laser was undertaken. Evaluation was performed by comparing simultaneously projected pretreatment and completiontreatment photographs. Anatomical differences in response were evaluated in three ways: (1) by anatomical subdivision of the head and neck into regions, (2) by dermatomal distribution, and (3) by response for midline lesions. The head and neck was subdivided into eight anatomical regions, which were independently evaluated for response. In addition, response for individual dermatomes and for midline lesions was evaluated. Response in all cases was assessed by determining the percentage of lightening from 0% to 100% (where 100% represents complete response) at the completion of treatment. Response grades were also assigned, using grades poor (0% to 25% lightening), fair (26% to 50% lightening), good (51% to 75% lightening), or excellent (76% to 100% lightening).

Results.—  One hundred thirty-seven adults and 122 children were included in the study. Evaluation by subdivision of the head and neck into regions revealed that in adults and children the centrofacial regions (medial aspect of the cheek, upper cutaneous lip, and nose) responded less favorably than the other grouped regions (periorbital, forehead/temple, lateral aspect of the cheek, neck, and chin); the centrofacial regions showed a good response (mean lightening, 70.7%), while the other grouped regions of the head and neck showed an excellent response (mean lightening, 82.3%). Evaluation by dermatomal distribution revealed that dermatome V2 showed a good response (mean lightening of 73.8%), while combined dermatomes V1, V3, and C2/C3 showed an excellent response (mean lightening of 82.4%). Evaluation of midline lesions revealed excellent responses in adults and children (mean lightening, 92.4%).

Conclusions.—  Port-wine stains of the head and neck in adults and children demonstrate differences in response to treatment with the pulsed dye laser according to their anatomical location. Centrofacial lesions and lesions involving dermatome V2 in adults and children respond less favorably than lesions located elsewhere on the head and neck. Midline lesions respond very favorably in adults and children.(Arch Dermatol. 1993;129:182-188)