Recurrence of morphea after successful ultraviolet A1 phototherapy: A cohort study

Rebecca Vasquez, Aysha Jabbar, Fatima Khan, Douglas Buethe, Chul Ahn, Heidi Jacobe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background Studies support efficacy of ultraviolet (UV)A1 phototherapy, but little is known about recurrence after successful UVA1 treatment. Objective We sought to determine the frequency of recurrent activity after UVA1 phototherapy and variables associated with recurrence. Methods This was a case series and prospective cohort study of patients treated with UVA1 phototherapy with minimum 6 months of follow-up. Demographics, clinical features, and cumulative UVA1 dose were analyzed for association with recurrence. Results Of 37 patients, 46% (n = 17) had recurrence of active morphea lesions after successful UVA1 phototherapy. Two-year and 3-year (after the last UVA1 phototherapy treatment) recurrence rates were 44.5% (95% confidence interval 30.1%-62.2%) and 48.4% (95% confidence interval 33.2%-66.1%), respectively. The only variable associated with recurrence was duration of morphea before UVA1 (P value =.02, hazard ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.27). Limitations The sample size limits conclusions. Conclusion With the exception of increased duration of morphea, risk of recurrence is no different in adults and children, or between morphea subtypes, skin types, and medium- to high-dose regimens. This indicates treatment doses in the medium-high UVA1 range are adequate with respect to frequency of recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-488
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • localized scleroderma
  • morphea
  • phototherapy
  • ultraviolet A1 phototherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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