Content » Vol 101, January

Clinical Report

Systematic Literature Review and Network Meta-analysis of the Efficacy and Acceptability of Interventions in Actinic Keratoses

Khaled Ezzedine, Caroline Painchault, Melanie Brignone
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3690


A systematic literature review was conducted to identify and qualitatively assess randomized controlled trials in immunocompetent patients ≥ 18 years with head- region lesions of actinic keratoses who were treated with field-directed, lesion-directed and other therapies. Network meta-analysis was used to quantitatively evaluate field-directed therapies (5-fluorouracil formulations, diclofenac sodium, imiquimod, ingenol mebutate, 5-aminolevulinic acid or methyl aminolevulinate plus photodynamic therapy) using complete clearance or partial clearance of actinic keratoses lesions, and adverse event-related withdrawals as a proxy of acceptability. Of 2,863 references identified, 75 trials reported in 151 publications were included. In summary, comparative network meta-analysis evaluation showed that 5-fluorouracil formulations were the most efficacious interventions examined. 5-fluorouracil 4%, which was recently approved, showed a comparable efficacy profile to 5-fluorouracil 5%, and had satisfactory acceptability outcomes.


This systematic literature review and network meta-analysis showed that 5-fluorouracil interventions were associated with the best efficacy and a satisfactory acceptability profile compared with other field-directed therapies used in the treatment of actinic keratoses. These findings may contribute to inform treatment choices.

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