The pulsed dye laser (PDL) has long been used for treatment of erythematous and hypertrophic scars. Its effectiveness has been attributed in large part to its vascular-specificity. The vascular-specific potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) laser has also been reported to be clinically effective for scars, but has not been compared to the PDL.
To compare the safety and clinical efficacy of a 532-nm KTP laser versus a 595-nm PDL in improving the appearance of erythematous surgical scars.
Twenty patients with matched bilateral erythematous surgical scars or a single linear erythematous scar measuring longer than 5 cm were enrolled in the study. Single scars were divided into equal halves with each half randomized to receive 3 successive treatments at 6-week intervals with either a 532-nm KTP laser (Excel V; Brisbane, CA) or a 595-nm PDL (Cynergy; Cynosure Inc., Chelmsford, MA) at equivalent laser parameters. Bilateral matched scars were similarly randomized to receive three 532-nm KTP or 595-nm PDL treatments. Clinical efficacy was evaluated 12 weeks after the third (final) laser treatment by independent, blinded photographic scar assessments. Secondary evaluations included final investigator and subject treatment/satisfaction assessments, Vancouver scar scale (VSS) scores, subject scar symptoms, intraoperative pain scores, and incidence of side effects.
Clinical improvement of erythematous surgical scars was observed with both 532-nm KTP and 595-nm PDL systems. No statistically significant differences between the 2 treatment arms were noted in the independent, blinded photographic scar assessments, investigator and subject treatment/satisfaction assessments, subject scar symptoms, and intraoperative pain scores. The KTP arm produced statistically significant improvement for the vascularity component of the VSS only. Side effects were limited to mild treatment discomfort and minimal transient post-treatment erythema and purpura. No vesiculation, infection, scarring or other adverse events were experienced. Subject satisfaction surveys mirrored the observed clinical effects.
The-532 nm KTP laser is comparable in efficacy and safety to the 595-nm PDL laser in the treatment of erythematous surgical scars.