When a cryogen spurt is applied to the skin surface for tens of milliseconds, cooling remains localized in the epidermis, leaving the temperature of deeper hemangioma vessels unchanged. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of noncooled laser treatment (NC-LT) vs. cryogen spray cooling plus laser treatment (CSC-LT) for cutaneous hemangiomas in a large series of patients. A retrospective review was conducted of 164 patients treated with the pulsed dye laser (λ = 585 nm; τp = 450 μsec) over an 8-year period. Eighty-two patients received NC-LT using light doses of 5.5 to 8 J per square centimeter. Subsequently, 82 patients received CSC-LT using light doses of 9 to 10 J per square centimeter. The primary efficacy measure was quantitative assessment of improvements in lesional volume, texture, and color. Safety was evaluated for each treatment group by monitoring for adverse effects. Based on chi-squared analysis, there were clinical and significant differences in the number of treatments (p = 0.001), and improvement in volume (p = 0.008) and texture (p = 0.001) of the CSC-LT group compared with the NC-LT group. Permanent adverse effects were not observed in either group. In conclusion, CSC permitted the use of higher incident light doses for treatment of cutaneous hemangiomas, resulting in fewer treatments required and better improvement in lesional volume and texture.
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