Efficacy of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis

  • Mahvish Aftab Khan Rawal Institute of Health Sciences Islamabad.
  • Sehrish Aftab DHQ Hospital Multan.
  • Nadia Shams Rawal Institute of Health Sciences Islamabad.
  • Rahmat Ullah Khan PAEC General Hospital Islamabad.
Keywords: Amastigotes, Leishmaniasis, Photodynamic Therapy


Introduction: A limited number of case reports have studies the efficacy of Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) in management of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL). Topical PDT is an innovative mode of therapy that works on principle of selective uptake of photosensitizing agent by CL lesions. Current study was conducted to determine efficacy of topical photodynamic therapy of CL. Study Design: Descriptive cross sectional study. Setting: Dermatology outdoor clinic PIMS Islamabad. Period: July 2015 to Jan 2016. Materials & Methods: Total 75 patients (>12 years) of either gender with biopsy proven CL lesions were included after ethical approval.  Pregnant or lactating women, those with sensitivity to light or photo sensitizer were excluded. The selected cases were administered once a week sessions of topical 5-ALA PDT therapy. This therapy was continued till 4 weeks and efficacy was observed at 6th week; efficacy labeled as yes if there was no erythema with resolution of papules, plaques or nodules, surrounded by normal healthy skin clinically and the histo-pathological smears revealing absence of amastigotes, otherwise labeled as non-effective. Results: Mean age was 24.37+7.43 years. There were 44(58.67%) females and 31(41.33%) males. Mean duration of disease was 40.29+11.73 days and mean size of lesion was 19.69+9.88 mm. Effective PDT outcome was seen in 67(89.33%) patients at 6th week of therapy. Conclusion: This study concluded that topical photodynamic therapy is an effective method for treatment of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

Author Biographies

Mahvish Aftab Khan, Rawal Institute of Health Sciences Islamabad.

MBBS, FCPS Dermatology

Assistant Professor

Department of Dermatology


Sehrish Aftab, DHQ Hospital Multan.

MBBS, FCPS Dermatology

Consultant Dermatologist

Department of Dermatology


Nadia Shams, Rawal Institute of Health Sciences Islamabad.

MBBS, FCPS Medicine

Associate Professor

Department of Medicine

Rahmat Ullah Khan, PAEC General Hospital Islamabad.

MBBS, FCPS Medicine,

FCPS Gastroenterology

Consultant Physician.