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Observational study of chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis treated with methyl aminolevulinate photodynamic therapy.

BACKGROUND: Therapies used to treat chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis (CNH), such as surgical excision, pressure relief, or topical steroids report varying degrees of success.

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the response and safety of methyl aminolevulinate (MAL) photodynamic therapy (PDT) in CNH.

METHODS: This retrospective, observational study performed at the University Hospital Ramon y Cajal (Madrid, Spain) and Hospital San Jorge (Huesca, Spain) included all patients diagnosed with CNH and treated with MAL-PDT from 2008 to 2015. Treatment sites were prepared and irradiated as per the conventional MAL-PDT procedure.

RESULTS: Patients underwent a mean of 2.3 sessions with between-session intervals ranging from 15 days to 1 month. A complete response to PDT was observed in 33 patients (76.7%), who experienced pain relief and resolution of the inflammatory nodule. Lesion recurrence was recorded in 10 patients (23.3%) during the mean follow-up period of 20 months. Receiving ≥2 PDT sessions was significantly associated with a good response (26/28, 93% success rate, P = .003).

LIMITATIONS: Some limitations of the study are the lack of an established between-session interval, the absence of evaluation of curettage effectiveness and the limited sample size.

DISCUSSION: The results support the view that PDT is a promising treatment approach for CNH.

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