Pilot study of intense pulsed light (IPL) for the treatment of systemic sclerosis-related telangiectases

British Journal of Dermatology, 05/11/2012

Murray AK et al. – In this pilot study (the first of IPL treatment for systemic sclerosis [SSc]–related telangiectases) most patients, improved after IPL treatment. However, the degree of improvement was not maintained in all patients at 6–12 months, suggesting that further treatments may be necessary. Longer term studies of this novel treatment approach are now required.


  • Patients underwent three treatments of IPL at monthly intervals and attended for follow–up at one, 6 and 12 months after final treatment.
  • Photographs, laser Doppler imaging (LDI) and thermography were used to measure changes at each visit.
  • Seventeen patients completed the study.


  • Photographs were graded (compared to baseline) as: one month follow–up; four ‘no change’, four ‘improved’ and 8 ‘much improved’; six month follow–up; four ‘no change’, 8 ‘improved’ and four as ‘much improved’ and 12 month follow–up (8 images were available) three ‘no change’, two ‘improved’ and three ‘much improved’.
  • Perfusion as measured by LDI (perfusion units) was significantly reduced, compared to baseline (median 2.66 IQR[1.78–3.93]), one month (1.70[1.07–2.55], p=0.006) and 6 months (2.05[1.42–2.36], p=0.008) post–treatment, but not 12 months (1.61[1.14–3.22], p=0.088).
  • No differences were found in skin temperature between baseline and follow–up visits.

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