(HealthDay News) — For actinic keratoses (AKs), photodynamic therapy (PDT) is associated with improved response compared with cryotherapy, according to a meta-analysis published online August 27 in JAMA Dermatology.

Gayatri Patel, MD, MPH, from the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of PDT vs. other methods for treatment of AKs. Data were collected from randomized PDT trials that used aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride or methyl aminolevulinate hydrochloride as stabilizers and included >10 participants. Thirteen studies were included in the final synthesis, four of which were eligible for meta-analysis.

Meta-analysis was performed with cryotherapy as a comparator. The meta-analysis included 641 participants, with 2,174 cryotherapy-treated AKs and 2,170 PDT-treated AKs. The researchers found that at three months after PDT treatment, the pooled relative risk for complete response (lesion clearance) was 1.14, compared with cryotherapy. There was no indication of publication bias.

“Photodynamic therapy has a 14% better chance of complete lesion clearance at three months after treatment than cryotherapy for thin AKs on the face and scalp,” the authors write.

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