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The Efficacy of Combining Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser With Verapamil Hydrochloride or 5-Fluorouracil in the Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids

A Clinical and Immunohistochemical Study

Sabry, Hanan H., MD*; Abdel Rahman, Sherine H., MD*; Hussein, Mohamed S., MD*; Sanad, Rana R., MBBch*; Abd El Azez, Taghreed A., MD

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001726
Original Article

BACKGROUND Ablative fractional laser-assisted therapy is increasingly used to facilitate drug delivery and intensify clinical efficacy of topically applied drugs.

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effectiveness of combined ablative fractional CO2 laser and topically applied 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or verapamil hydrochloride in the treatment of hypertrophic scars (HTSs) and keloids and to examine their possible effects on TGF-β1 expression.

PATIENTS AND METHODS Thirty patients with HTSs and keloids were randomly treated with combined CO2 laser followed by topical verapamil or 5-FU application or CO2 laser monotherapy. All patients received 4 treatments at 1-month intervals. Subjective and objective assessment was obtained using the Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS). Histological changes and immunohistochemical staining for TGF-β1 were performed.

RESULTS Compared with baseline, there was a significant reduction in the VSS 1 month after the last treatment session in all groups (p < .05). Laser-assisted 5-FU delivery tended to show a higher extent of improvement in scar characteristics than laser-assisted verapamil hydrochloride delivery, without significance. No significant side effects were reported in all patient groups. TGF-β1 expression was significantly decreased after laser sessions.

CONCLUSION Combined fractional CO2 laser and topical 5-FU or verapamil hydrochloride offer a safe therapy for HTSs and keloids.

Departments of *Dermatology Venereology and Andrology, and

Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Hanan H. Sabry, MD, Dermatology, Venereology and Andrology Department, Benha Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, 13512, Egypt, or e-mail:

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

© 2019 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
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