Treatment of port wine stains with pulsed dye laser and topical timolol: a multicenter randomized controlled trial

Passeron T, Maza A, Fontas E, Toubel G, Vabres P, Livideanu C, Mazer JM, Rossi B, Boukari F, Harmelin Y, Dreyfus I, Mazereeuw-Hautier J, Lacour JP

Br. J. Dermatol. 2014 Jun;170(6):1350-3


PMID: 24641096

BACKGROUND: Neoangiogenesis occurs within days following laser treatment of port wine stains (PWS), and plays a central role in treatment failures. Topical use of timolol can significantly reduce the production of vascular endothelial growth factor in vitro, and in animal models.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of topical timolol in combination with pulsed dye laser (PDL) treatment, compared with PDL alone, for treating PWS.

METHODS: This was a prospective multicenter controlled trial performed in children with PWS of the face who had not previously received laser treatment. After randomization, one group was treated with PDL alone, and the other with PDL followed by twice daily applications of timolol gel. Three laser sessions were performed at 1-month intervals with fixed parameters. The evaluation was performed on standardized pictures by two independent physicians blinded to the treatment received. The primary endpoint was marked or complete improvement of the PWS [Investigator Global Assessment (IGA) 3 or 4] 1 month after the third session.

RESULTS: Twenty-two children were included. Two patients were lost to follow-up. There was no difference in the success rate between the two groups (IGA 3 or 4 observed in one of 10 patients and two of 12 patients, for PDL alone, and for PDL associated with topical timolol, respectively; P = 1·0). No side-effect related to the application of topical timolol was observed.

CONCLUSIONS: The addition of timolol gel for preventing neoangiogenesis failed to significantly improve the efficacy of PDL treatment of PWS.