menu ☰
menu ˟

Electrosclerotherapy for capillary malformations: study protocol for a randomised within-patient controlled pilot trial

14 Nov 2017


The current state-of-the-art treatment modality for hypertrophic capillary malformations (CMs), laser therapy, has a considerable rate of non-responders and recurrence. Intralesional bleomycin injections (or ‘sclerotherapy’) are commonly used to treat venous and lymphatic malformations with an excellent effect, but these intravascular injections are not possible in CMs due to the small diameter of the vessels. Electroporation—an electric field applied to the tissue—could increase the permeability of endothelial cells, which could theoretically facilitate targeted localised bleomycin delivery. We therefore hypothesise that bleomycin injections in combination with electroporation—‘electrosclerotherapy’ (EST), also known as ‘electrochemotherapy’—could potentially be a novel alternative treatment option for CMs.

Methods and analysis

In this randomised within-patient controlled pilot trial, 20 patients with hypertrophic CMs will be enrolled. Three regions of interest (ROIs) within the CM will be randomly allocated for treatment with (A) EST, (B) bleomycin sclerotherapy without electroporation and (C) no treatment. Patients and outcome assessors are blinded for the treatment allocation. Treatment outcome for each ROI will be measured approximately 7 weeks after the treatment procedure, using patient-reported and physician-reported global assessment scores, colorimetry, laser speckle imaging and reporting of adverse events.

Ethics and dissemination

The study protocol is approved by the ethics review committee of the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam. Results will be published in peer-reviewed medical journals and will be presented at international conferences and scientific meetings. Study results will be fed back to the patient population through website and social media notifications.

Trial registration number

NCT02883023;Pre-results. NTR6169.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open