Nd:YAG/Er:YAG dual laser vs. topical steroid to treat vulvar lichen sclerosus: study protocol of a randomized controlled trialViereck, V., Gamper, M., Regauer, S., Walser, C. & Zivanovic, I.
Archives of gynecology and obstetrics, 2023;08(2), pp.643–649.
Vulvar lichen sclerosus (LS) is a chronic debilitating infammatory skin disease. Today, the gold standard is a life-long topical steroid treatment. Alternative options are highly desired. We present a study protocol of a prospective, randomized, active-controlled, investigator-initiated clinical trial comparing a novel non-invasive dual Nd:YAG/Er:YAG laser therapy with the gold standard for the management of LS.
Materials and Methods:
We recruited 66 patients, 44 in the laser arm and 22 in the steroid arm. Patients with a physician-administered clinical LS score≥4 were included. Participants received either four laser treatments 1–2 months apart, or 6 months of topical steroid application. Follow-ups were planned at 6, 12, and 24 months. The primary outcome looks at the efcacy of the laser treatment at the 6-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes look at comparisons between baseline and follow-ups within the laser or the steroid arm, and comparisons between laser vs. steroid arm. Objective (LS score, histopathology, photo documentation) and subjective (Vulvovaginal Symptoms Questionnaire, symptom VAS score, patient satisfaction) measurements, tolerability, and adverse events are evaluated.
The fundings of this trial have the potential to ofer a novel treatment option for LS. The standardized Nd:YAG/ Er:YAG laser settings and the treatment regime are presented in this paper