RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Acitretin in the treatment of severe lichen sclerosus et atrophicus of the vulva: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

BACKGROUND: Promising results have been reported from treatment with oral retinoids in patients with severe lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (LSA) of the vulva.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to determine the efficacy of acitretin (20 to 30 mg/day) for 16 weeks in LSA.

METHODS: Seventy-eight patients were enrolled into a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. The primary measure of efficacy was the "responder" rate based on the assessment of characteristic clinical features of LSA of the vulva (pruritus, burning, atrophy, hyperkeratosis, and secondary features such as erosions, ulcers, edema, or lichenification) and on the extent of the lesions.

RESULTS: From the 46 patients eligible for efficacy analysis, a significantly higher number of responders was observed in the acitretin-treatment group (14 of 22 patients) as compared with the placebo-treatment group (6 of 24 patients). Typical retinoid adverse reactions were observed in all patients receiving active drug.

CONCLUSION: Acitretin is effective in treating women with severe LSA of the vulva.

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