- Vitiligo is a
skin disease characterized by depigmentation (loss of color) of the skin.
- There is no known
cure for the disease but can be treated via medications, skin grafts, and
- MKTP surgery uses
patients own skin cells and offers a long-term benefit of restoring skin
color in depigmented areas.
develops when the cells in our body responsible for producing
pigment, also called melanocytes are killed by the body's immune system. This
results in depigmentation or white lesions or blotches in affected areas. While
there are multiple treatment options for vitiligo and other types of
leukodermas, MKTP offers long-term benefits of re-pigmentation. Non-cultured M
rocedure (MKTP) is the latest modification to
surgical management to vitiligo and other leukodermas. A team at Henry Ford
Hospitals conducted a retrospective study to determine the long-term re-pigmentation
results in patients who have undergone MKTP between 2009 and 2014. The study is
published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
What is Vitiligo?
Leukoderma is defined as white
patches on the skin and Vitiligo
specific kind of leukoderma. However the two words are used interchangeably.
Melanin is a pigment that gives human skin, eyes and hair their color. Melanin
producing cells are called melanocytes. Vitiligo is a condition when these
melanocytes die or do not function. This results in white depigmented patches
on the skin. These patches are more visible on people with darker skin tone.
They may appear anywhere on the body from skin, hair, lips to genitals. They
may be acquired at any age but usually appear before 20 years of age. Vitiligo
is non contagious (does not spread) and is treatable.
‘MKTP offers long time benefits of skin re-pigmentation in vitiligo-affected individuals.’
Signs of Vitiligo:
Vitiligo is of two types:
- Patchy loss of skin color
- Premature whitening /graying of hair on scalp,
eyelashes, eyebrows or beard
- Loss of color in the tissues that line the
inside of the mouth and nose
- Loss of or change in color of the inner layer
of the eyeball
Transplantation Procedure (MKTP):
- Segmental: appears on one segment, or part, of the body like the
face or arm.
- Nonsegmental: the most common type and appears on both sides of the
body such as the hands and knees.
MKTP is the latest modification
to surgical treatment procedure for vitiligo and other leukodermas. In this
procedure the patient's own skin cells are taken from a pigmented area of the
body (usually the upper thigh) and transplanted onto the affected white spot
region after superficially removing the upper layer of the skin. It may be
performed in 1 to 3 hours as a day care procedure. MKTP provides significant
re-pigmentation by 6 months post surgery. Moreover, the difficult to treat
areas like bony surface, areola, genitals and knuckles can also be treated with
excellent results. However not everyone affected with vitiligo are recommended
for the surgery. The inclusion criteria is as follows:
Long-term benefits of MKTP:
- Stable vitiligo:
no history of enlarging or new lesions for at least 6 months.
- Segmental vitiligo
vitiligo without fingertip involvement
leukoderma caused due to mechanical, chemical or thermal causes.
- Piebaldism: Skin
depigmentation from birth (genetic)
- Halo nevi: mole
with a white patch around it
The study analyzed
re-pigmentation results in 63 vitiligo patients who underwent MKTP between
January 2009 and April 2014. All patients for whom clinical information was
available for at least 12 months after the procedure were included in the
71% re-pigmentation was
maintained in 45 segmental vitiligo lesions 5 years post MKTP
64% re-pigmentation was
maintained in 90 non-segmental vitiligo lesions 5 years post MKTP
The study also
indicates that skin type, age and location of the vitiligo had no significant
effect on the outcome of the re-pigmentation. While it was previously known
that significant re-pigmentation is achieved by 6 months post MKTP, this study
concludes that MKTP can also maintain that re-pigmentation for at least
However, it is important to note
that treatment for vitiligo may restore color to the affected skin, but it does
not prevent continued loss of skin color or a recurrence and is not a permanent
cure to the disease.
- Overview - Vitiligo - (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vitiligo/home/ovc-20319041)
- Michelle Rodrigues, Khaled Ezzedine, Iltefat Hamzavi, Amit G. Pandya, John E. Harris. New discoveries in the pathogenesis and classification of vitiligo. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2017; 77 (1): 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.10.048
- Narumol S, Griffith J, Huggins R, henderson M, Kerr H, Jacobsen G, Mulekar S, Lim H & Hamzavi I. Long-term follow-up of patients undergoing autologous noncultured melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation for vitiligo and other leukodermas. Journal of American Academy of dermatology.(2017)