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Thierauf, Julia; Walther, M.; Rotter, N.; Scheithauer, M.-O.; Hoffmann, T. K.; Veit, J. A. (2017): Treatment of ear keloids: algorithm for a multimodal therapy regimen. In: European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Vol. 274, No. 11: pp. 3859-3866
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Keloids are benign cutaneous lesions, arising from proliferating fibroblasts. Keloids of the ear may occur after trauma, surgery or helix piercings and are difficult to treat, since they tend to form recurrences. Guidelines suggest multimodal therapy;however, recurrence rates remain high and distinct algorithms for the combination of different modalities are missing. To unravel the most effective combination of therapeutic options for keloids of the ear, 38 patients with the diagnosis of an ear keloid were included in our cohort. In a prospective subgroup (B) of this cohort (n = 17), patients either underwent surgery using the "fillet technique" (a meticulous peeling of the keloid skin) and intra-lesional injections of triamcinolone 10 mg/ml every 4-6 weeks for 6 months, or they were additionally treated with a non-customized pressure device which was recommended for at least 16/24 h per day over 6 months. To further compare our results, the remaining 21 patients of our cohort, who were treated at our clinic before, were retrospectively evaluated concerning their recurrence rates. The mean follow-up was 48 months. The mean count of adjuvant steroid injections was two in all patients, four in subgroup B. The recurrence rate was 30% (13/38) in all patients (subgroup B 0/17). Aesthetic results were good to excellent in all non-recurrent cases. No patient treated with fillet technique showed recurrence (p < 0.001). However, we could not confirm a significant effect but a trend of repeated steroid injections for preventing recurrences (p = 0.099). The application of pressure using our non-customized clip also showed a clear trend towards preventing recurrences in cross-table analysis (p = 0.057). Although several studies on different treatment regimens for keloids of the ear exist, the effectiveness of a multimodal treatment regimen needs to be elucidated. Overall, the best results in preventing recurrences were achieved by combining three different treatments. However, the fillet technique was the only modality preventing recurrences of keloids in uni- and multivariate analysis. The application of pressure with a non-customized clip and repeated steroid injections also showed a positive trend but failed level of significance. Based on our data and the literature we recommend, when feasible, the combination of more than one therapeutic regimen, since relapse risk went down from single to dual and triple therapy from 40% (8/20) to 14.3% (2/14) to 0% (0/4), respectively in our cohort. The use of "fillet technique" was especially beneficial.