Narrowband UV-B (TL-01) phototherapy vs oral 8-methoxypsoralen psoralen-UV-A for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis

Arch Dermatol. 2003 Mar;139(3):325-8. doi: 10.1001/archderm.139.3.325.


Objective: To compare the efficacy of narrowband UV-B (TL-01) phototherapy with oral 8-methoxypsoralen photochemotherapy (8-MOP psoralen-UV-A [PUVA]) in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis (CPP).

Design: Open, randomized, controlled study.

Setting: Phototherapy unit in a dermatology hospital.

Patients: Fifty-four patients with CCP.

Interventions: Patients received whole-body threshold erythemogenic dose of either 3-times weekly TL-01 or twice-weekly oral 8-MOP PUVA, based on minimal erythema or phototoxic doses. Patients were treated until completely clear.

Outcome measures: Number of treatments to clear, number of days in treatment, number of days in remission, and adverse effects of both therapies were assessed.

Results: Forty-five patients completed the study. Those in the PUVA group required significantly fewer treatments to clear (P =.03). There was no significant difference in the number of days to clear or number of days in remission. A similar percentage of patients in the TL-01 and PUVA groups developed minimal perceptible erythema, showing that the regimens were equally erythemogenic. Asymptomatic, well-defined erythema occurred only in the PUVA group. Pruritus and polymorphic light eruption occurred equally in both groups, but only patients in the PUVA group developed nausea.

Conclusion: Narrowband UV-B phototherapy, used 3 times weekly, is as effective for the treatment of CPP as oral 8-MOP PUVA used twice weekly.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methoxsalen / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Photosensitizing Agents / administration & dosage
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Psoriasis / radiotherapy*
  • Radiometry
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Ultraviolet Therapy*
  • Whole-Body Irradiation


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Methoxsalen