During a recent systematic review, researchers determined that compound glycyrrhizin tablets combined with the 308 nm excimer laser proved more effective in treating vitiligo than using the laser alone.
The review, published by Huang et al, noted that no systematic review existed evaluating compound glycyrrhizin tablets combined with the 308 nm excimer laser for the treatment of vitiligo. As such, there is no evidence to determine the effectiveness of combination therapy. This study therefore aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of combining compound glycyrrhizin tablets with the 308 nm excimer laser in the treatment of vitiligo by analyzing the results of existing clinical randomized controlled trials.
A total of nine articles were included in the study which involved 1052 patients with vitiligo. This included 753 participants in the test group and 749 participants in the control group. Primary outcome measures included clinical effectiveness, adverse events, and the skin recovery area of vitiligo. The latter was divided into four grades:
- Ineffective – depigmented spots have not subsided or have subsided <10%
- Efficiency – depigmented spots have a normal skin color and a skin area between 10% and 50%
- High efficiency – depigmented spots return to normal skin color, with an area of ≥ 50%
- Cure – essential recovery of the patient’s depigmented spots
Efficiency, high efficiency, and cure were defined as effective treatments.
Once all data was collected and organized, researchers compared compound glycyrrhizin tablets combined with the 308 nm excimer laser to the 308 nm excimer laser alone. The results were tested for heterogeneity, revealing this was minimal, and that clinical efficacy was greater among the test group than the control group.
Researchers concluded that “Compound glycyrrhizin tablets combined with the 308 nm excimer laser have higher efficacy in curing vitiligo than the 308 nm excimer laser alone, a finding worthy of clinical application.” They added that “clinically, in the acute stage of vitiligo, treatment with compound glycyrrhizin tablets combined with the 308 nm excimer laser can provide significant effects in a relatively short time.”
They do note however that the study does contain some limitations, including an insufficient sample size, the fact that none of the included randomized controlled trials indicate single or double blinding, and the severity and course of vitiligo varied among the patients included.