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Autoimmune Diseases
Volume 2015, Article ID 196537, 5 pages
Review Article

Immunological Parameters Associated With Vitiligo Treatments: A Literature Review Based on Clinical Studies

1Faculdade de Ciências Humanas, Sociais e da Saúde, Universidade Fumec, 30310-190 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
2Departamento de Dermatologia, Santa Casa de Belo Horizonte, 30150-221 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
3Clínica de Dermatologia, Edificio Life Center, 30110-921 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 28 June 2015; Accepted 26 August 2015

Academic Editor: Corrado Betterle

Copyright © 2015 Ana Cláudia Guimarães Abreu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vitiligo, a depigmentary disorder, caused by the loss of melanocytes, affects approximately 1% of the world population, irrespective of skin type, with a serious psychological impact on the patient quality of life. So far, the origin of vitiligo has not been traced and the pathogenesis is complex, involving the interplay of a multitude of variables. Although there is no treatment that ensures the complete cure of the disorder, there are some pharmacological, phototherapy, and surgical therapies available. A series of variables can affect treatment outcome, such as individual characteristics, emotional issues, type of vitiligo, stability of the lesions, and immunological status. The present literature review identified the main immunological parameters associated with treatments for vitiligo. Cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes are the main cell type involved in treatment success, as fewer cells in skin lesions are associated with better results. Other parameters such as cytokines and regulatory T cells may also be involved. Further clinical scientific studies are needed to elucidate the complex mechanisms underlying vitiligo and its treatments, in order to expand the range of therapeutic approaches for each individual case.