Photodynamic therapy in the management of actinic keratosis: Retrospective evaluation of outcome

Waseem Jerjes, Zaid Hamdoon, Ali A. Abdulkareem, Colin Hopper

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13 Citations (Scopus)
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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive intervention used in the management of tissue disorders. In this retrospective study, a total of 62 patients with actinic keratosis (AKs) were treated with surface illumination PDT. Comparisons with the clinical features, rate of recurrence as well as malignant transformation and overall outcome were made.

Materials and methods

The medical records of 62 consecutive patients who presented with suspicious skin lesions and diagnosed with AKs were examined. These patients with 178 AKs lesions were treated with surface illumination methyl aminolevulinate − photodynamic therapy (MAL-PDT). The 16% strength cream (MAL) was applied topically 3 hours prior to tissue illumination. A single-channel 628 nm diode laser was used for illumination and light was delivered at 100J/cm2 per site. These patients were followed-up for a mean of 7.4 years.


Eight recurrences were reported after the first round of MAL-PDT, and two recurrences after the second round. Malignant transformation to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was noted in 2 patients only. The 3-year outcome resulted in 60 patients with complete response (CR), and this was maintained at the final outcome (last clinic review). Assessment of lesional outcome vs. response showed that 175/178 treated lesions had complete response (CR) at 3-year follow-up, which increased to 176/178 lesions at the last clinic follow-up.


MAL-PDT offers an effective treatment for AKs lesions with excellent cosmetic outcome.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhotodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy
Early online date10 May 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 May 2016


  • 5-ALA
  • MAL
  • PDT
  • actinic keratosis
  • NMSC
  • photodynamic therapy
  • pre-cancer
  • recurrence


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