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November 1996

Port-wine Stains: An Assessment of 5 Years of Treatment

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Orten, Waner, Flock, and Roberson) and Dermatology (Dr Kincannon), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(11):1174-1179. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890230022005

Objective:  To assess objectively the results of flashlamp-pumped dye laser treatment of port-wine stains (PWS).

Design:  Pretreatment and posttreatment photographs were compared with the appearance of the lesion at follow-up examination. Clinical response was determined by assigning a percentage of lesional lightening score by 2 physicians and the patient, and by reflectance spectrophotometric measurements.

Setting:  University and university-affiliated health center.

Patients:  One hundred two patients (118 PWS) aged 1 month to 66 years (mean, 20 years; median, 16 years) treated from July 1, 1989, to June 30, 1994.

Results:  Eighteen (15.3%) of the 118 PWS had more than 90% lesional lightening (complete or almost complete response), 77 (65.3%) had lightening from 50% to 90% (good response), 21 (17.8%) had lightening from 11% to 49% (poor response), and 2 (1.7%) had lightening less than 10% (no response). Clinical response did not vary among age groups, but showed statistically significant differences between anatomical locations. A return of PWS after initial response was observed in patients who were seen more than 1 year following completion of treatment.

Conclusions:  Treatment of PWS by flashlamp-pumped dye laser results in a good to complete response in most patients. Anatomical location of the lesion is a valuable prognostic indicator of response to treatment. The initially impressive results of flashlamp-pumped dye laser treatment of PWS may be tempered by the gradual return of the vascular lesion as time elapses after completion of therapy. Our experience indicates that PWS show a tendency to recur at a rate approaching 50% between 3 and 4 years after completion of treatment.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:1174-1179

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