Meta-analysis of photobiomodulation for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia.
J Dermatolog Treat. 2019 Nov 20:1-5. Epub 2019 Nov 20. PMID: 31746251
A K Gupta
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a condition that affects most people at some point in their life, yet few treatments are available. Use of photobiomodulation is ideal due to the safety profile and lack of serious adverse effects. Therefore, the efficacy of photobiomodulation for AGA therapy was investigated.A meta-analysis was used to elucidate treatment efficacy. Additionally, a sub-analysis was performed to determine if the type of device used or if use of lasers versus light emitting diodes (LEDs) significantly impacted results.Using hair density (hairs/cm) as a measure of efficacy, the standardized mean difference (SMD) was 1.02 (95% CI: 0.68, 1.36) in favor of treatment over control (15 studies, pooled = 795, < .00001). Subgroup analysis comparing comb-style devices versus helmet/hat-style devices did not reveal a significant difference ( = .08). A second subgroup analysis suggested that laser treatment was significantly more effective ( = .009) than a combination of laser/LED treatment although the combination treatment was still significantly better than control treatment.Meta-analysis results suggest that photobiomodulation could be used to effectively treat AGA. Specific device recommendations should be based on use of lasers versus LEDs and not the style (comb/hat/helmet) of the device.