Treatment of vitiligo lesions by ReCell vs. conventional melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation: a pilot study

Br J Dermatol. 2008 Jan;158(1):45-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2007.08216.x. Epub 2007 Oct 10.


Background: Surgical procedures are indicated to treat stable vitiligo, refractory to medical treatment. In addition to conventional surgical techniques, noncultured cellular grafting is gaining wider acceptance among dermatologists.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of the ReCell kit (Clinical Cell Culture, Cambridge, U.K.) and to compare it with conventional melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation (MKT) for the treatment of vitiligo.

Methods: Ten lesions in five patients at the same anatomical localization (left vs. right, or two separate lesions at the same anatomical location) were treated with ReCell and conventional MKT and repigmentation compared at 4 months post-transplantation.

Results: Of the five lesions treated with ReCell two lesions showed 100%, one 65% and one 40% repigmentation, and one lesion failed to repigment. Of the five lesions treated by conventional MKT three showed 100% and one 30% repigmentation and one failed to repigment.

Conclusions: ReCell may be an effective method to treat vitiligo. Studies on larger series of patients are required to confirm its efficacy. Further research is required to establish the effective dilution of the cell suspension.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Cell Separation / instrumentation
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / transplantation*
  • Male
  • Melanocytes / transplantation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / instrumentation*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitiligo / pathology
  • Vitiligo / therapy*