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The use of narrow band ultraviolet light B in the prevention and treatment of postherpetic neuralgia (a pilot study).

Research paper by Eman El EE Nabarawy

Indexed on: 17 May '11Published on: 17 May '11Published in: Indian journal of dermatology



Abstract

Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a common complication of herpes zoster that is frequently unresponsive to most of the available treatment modalities. Broad band ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) has a well-known anti-inflammatory effect. Moreover, it decreases neural damage and cutaneous nerve density. It was found that broad band UVB might have a role in the prevention and treatment of PHN.This study was carried out to evaluate the effect ofnarrow band UVB (nbUVB) in the treatment PHN.The study included 17 patients with distressing post herpetic neuralgia. Patients were evaluated using the Verbal Rating Scale (VRS). The patients received nbUVB sessions, three times a week, for a total of 15 sessions or until the pain disappeared. Patients were followed up for a period of 3 months after the end of therapy.Using intention to treat analysis, more than 50% improvement was achieved in 6 (35.29%) and 8 (47.06%) patients, at the end of therapy and after 3 months follow up, respectively. An improvement less that 50% was achieved in 11 (64.71%) and 9 (52.94%) patients, at the end of therapy and after 3 months follow up, respectively. The pain severity assessed by the VRS significantly improved both at the end of sessions (P = 0.005) and after 3 months follow up (P = 0.005).nbUVB may be of beneficial use in the treatment of PHN.Small number of patients and limited follow-up period.