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    Cryotherapy outperforms CO2 lasers in treating AKs

    Cryotherapy may be more effective than CO2 laser ablation in treatment of actinic keratosis (AKs) on the face and scalp, according to a recent study.

    Researchers from the University of Brescia, Italy, and from NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Ill., conducted a single-center, open-label, randomized and controlled clinical trial comparing the effects of CO2 laser ablation with cryotherapy when used to treat isolated AKs on the scalp and face.  

    The study followed 200 patients with a total of 543 isolated AKs. The patients were randomized to receive either CO2 laser ablation or cryotherapy. The researchers assessed the overall complete remission rates, and correlated and assessed lesion thickness grade.

    Three-month results showed a 78 percent complete remission rate of AKs treated with cryotherapy, compared with a 72 percent complete remission rate for patients treated with CO2 ablation. The 12-month results showed nearly 72 percent of cryotherapy patients in remission, compared with 63 percent of CO2 ablation patients.

    The study also found that cryotherapy is especially effective in treating thicker lesions. The researchers report that cosmetic outcomes were considered good for all patients.

    The study was published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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