Analysis: Scar Reduction Seen with Fractional CO2 and 5-FU Laser Treatments


Results from a new meta-analysis suggest that fractional carbon dioxide (FCO2) plus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) laser therapy was effective in treating hypertrophic and keloid scars.

Researchers for the analysis included data from 18 studies (N = 550). The team comprehensively searched databases for relevant studies published until July 2023. They used R software to extract and analyze data, expressing results as mean difference (MD) for continuous outcomes and risk ratio (RR) for dichotomous data.

According to the results, FCO2 combined with 5-FU significantly improved outcomes on the Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS), pliability score, and thickness of scars compared to the control group [respectively, MDs were -5.97 (95% CI: -7.30, -4.65) for VSS; -2.68 (95% CI: -4.03, -1.33) for pliability; and -2.22 (95% CI: -3.13, -1.31) for thickness]. No significant differences in erythema, vascularity, redness, perfusion, and pigmentation were reported.

"Our NMA found that the FCO2 plus 5-FU was the most effective intervention in decreasing the VSS and thickness, while FCO2 plus CO2 was the most effective intervention in decreasing the pliability score," they wrote in the study. "Further research is needed to determine the optimal laser parameters and long-term efficacy of laser therapy in hypertrophic and keloid scars."

Source: Foppiani J, et al. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. DOI: 10.1007/s00266-024-04027-9

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