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Photodynamic Therapy: Indications and Treatment

Michael H. Gold
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asj.2008.08.007 545-552 First published online: 1 September 2008


Learning Objectives: The reader is presumed to have a broad understanding of aesthetic and/or dermatologic procedures and concepts. After studying this article, the participant should be able to:

  1. Review the history of photodynamic therapy using 20% 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA-PDT) and its use in modern medicine.

  2. Describe clinical uses of ALA-PDT that have been studied and shown to be effective.

  3. Discuss ALA-PDT pretreatment regimens.

  4. Avoid potential complications of ALA-PDT treatment, and provide appropriate posttreatment instructions to patients.

Physicians may earn 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ by successfully completing the examination based on material covered in this article. The examination begins on page 553. ASAPS members may also complete this CME examination online by logging into the ASAPS Members-Only website (http://www.surgery.org/members) and clicking on “Clinical Education” in the menu bar.

Photodynamic therapy using 20% 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA-PDT) has become a standard therapy to treat a wide variety of clinical disorders, including actinic keratoses with or without photorejuvenation, moderate to severe inflammatory acne vulgaris, sebaceous gland hyperplasia, and hidradenitis suppurativa. The author reviews the evidence-based medicine that supports the use of ALA-PDT in clinical practice and discusses ways to optimize use of ALA-PDT in the clinical setting. (Aesthetic Surg J 2008;28:545–552.)

Disclosures: Dr. Gold is a consultant for, performs research for, and speaks on behalf of DUSA Pharmaceuticals, Lumenis, Aesthera, Sciton, and Cynosure. He also owns stock in DUSA Pharmaceuticals.

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