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Microvascular Effects of Pulsed Dye Laser in Combination With Oxymetazoline.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Background and objective

Oxymetazoline, an α-1A agonist, is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of persistent facial erythema associated with rosacea and induces vasoconstriction by interacting with α receptors. The objective of our study was to study the microvascular effects of oxymetazoline and pulsed dye laser (PDL).

Materials and methods

A dorsal window chamber was surgically installed on 20 mice. Each animal was assigned to one of four experimental groups: saline alone, oxymetazoline alone (10 μl applied once daily × 7 days), saline + PDL (saline applied 5 minutes before PDL irradiation [10 mm spot, 1.5 ms pulse duration, 7 J/cm2 delivered to epidermis]), or oxymetazoline + PDL (10 μl oxymetazoline applied 5 minutes before PDL and then once daily × 7 days). Brightfield and laser speckle imaging were performed for 7 days to monitor vascular architectural and functional changes.


We observed persistent blood flow in all of the saline-only and oxymetazoline-only experiments. A higher rate of vascular shutdown was observed with oxymetazoline + PDL (66.7%) compared with saline + PDL alone (16.7%). Oxymetazoline application increased venule diameter at 5 minutes post-application and decreased both arteriole and venule diameters at 60 minutes post-application.


The combination protocol of oxymetazoline + PDL induces persistent vascular shutdown observed 7 days after irradiation. This result may be associated with the acute vascular effects of oxymetazoline. Oxymetazoline + PDL should be evaluated as a treatment for cutaneous vascular disease, including rosacea and port wine birthmarks. Lasers Surg. Med. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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