Background: The treatment of vitiligo is still one of the most difficult dermatological challenges, although there are many therapeutic options. Narrow band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) phototherapy is considered to be a very important modality for generalized vitiligo.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore whether a combination of NB-UVB and topical agents would be superior to NB-UVB alone for treating vitiligo.
Methods: We searched the electronic databases such as PUBMED, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science. The primary outcome was the proportion of ≥50% repigmentation (a clinical significance), and secondary outcome was the proportion of ≥75% repigmentation (an excellent response).
Results: Seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 240 patients (413 lesions) were included in this meta-analysis. The study showed no significant difference between NB-UVB combination therapy (NB-UVB and topical calcineurin inhibitor or vitamin D analogs) and NB-UVB monotherapy in the outcomes of ≥50% repigmentation and ≥75% repigmentation. However, lesions located on the face and neck had better results in ≥50% repigmentation (RR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.08-1.81) and ≥75% repigmentation (RR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.10-3.20) with NB-UVB and topical calcineurin inhibitor combination therapy vs. NB-UVB monotherapy.
Conclusions: The meta-analysis suggested that adding neither topical calcineurin inhibitors nor topical vitamin-D3 analogs on NB-UVB can yield significantly superior outcomes than NB-UVB monotherapy for treatment of vitiligo. However, addition of topical calcineurin inhibitors to NB-UVB may increase treatment outcomes in vitiligo affecting face and neck.
Keywords: narrow band ultraviolet B; topical calcineurin inhibitors; vitamin-D3 analogs; vitiligo.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.