Objective To assess outcomes in managing primary lentigo maligna through surgical excision, radiation therapy, and carbon dioxide laser ablation.
Methods Retrospective case series review of all patients with primary lentigo maligna diagnosed and treated in London, Ontario, Canada, between July 2, 1991, and June 29, 2010.
Results Seventy-five patients aged 39 to 93 years (mean age, 64.8 years) were included in the study; 73 patients chose treatment. Twenty-seven patients were treated with surgical excision, 31 patients with radiation therapy, and 15 patients with carbon dioxide laser ablation. The median follow-up times were 16.6 months for surgical excision, 46.3 months for radiation therapy, and 77.8 months for carbon dioxide laser ablation (P < .001). Recurrence rates by treatment modality were 4.2% (1 of 27) for surgical excision, 29.0% (9 of 31) for radiation therapy, and 6.7% (1 of 15) for carbon dioxide laser ablation.
Conclusions A trend toward lower recurrence rates with surgical excision and carbon dioxide laser ablation was identified, but the results were not statistically significant. Carbon dioxide laser ablation may have a role as an alternative treatment for lentigo maligna among patients in whom standard treatments, such as surgical excision and radiation therapy, are declined or carry significant morbidity.