Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has emerged as an interesting alternative option for onychomycosis treatment. The impact of a specific photosensitizer (PS) on the final result is an important factor to consider. We conducted a short- and medium-term controlled trial to compare the effectiveness of PDT in the treatment of mild-to-moderate onychomycosis when it is mediated by two different PSs. Twenty patients were randomized to receive nine sessions of PDT distributed over 16 weeks mediated either by methylene blue (MB/PDT group) or methyl aminolevulinate (MAL/PDT group). Onychomycosis severity index (OSI) and nail involvement were checked along the study. Complete cure, treatment success, and clinical improvement were tabulated at 16 and 40-week follow-ups. OSI scores decreased significantly along the study, from 12.1 ± 5.4 to 3.6 ± 3.2 (MB/PDT group) and from 14.8 ± 6.0 to 5.4 ± 4.4 (MAL/PDT group). At 16-week follow-up, only 20% of the patients in the MB/PDT group reached complete cure and none in the group of MAL/PDT. At 40-week follow-up, complete cure rates were 70% and 40% in the MB/PDT group and MAL/PDT group respectively. Both modalities showed good outcomes in treatment of moderate toenail onychomycosis. MB/PDT showed a faster action but with relapse rates slightly higher than MAL/PDT.
Keywords: methyl aminolevulinate; methylene blue; mild-to-moderate onychomycosis; photodynamic therapy.
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