Standardizing serial photography for assessing and monitoring vitiligo: A core set of international recommendations for essential clinical and technical specifications

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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology


BACKGROUND: Clinical photography is an important component of the initial assessment and follow-up of patients with vitiligo in clinical practice and research settings. Standardization of this photographic process is essential to achieve useful, high-quality, and comparable photographs over time.

OBJECTIVE: The aim is to develop an international consensus for a core set of recommendations for standardized vitiligo clinical photography.

METHODS: Based an international meeting of vitiligo experts, a standard operating procedure was developed for vitiligo photography in daily practice and research settings. This protocol was subsequently reviewed by 20 vitiligo experts until agreement was reached.

RESULTS: The resulting protocol includes a set of 10 and 15 photographs for clinical practice and research purposes, respectively. The photographic series are based on anatomic units included in the Vitiligo Extent Score. Furthermore, graphic representations of standardized positioning and suggestions for guidelines to standardize the process (background color, lighting, position marking, scales, materials, instruments) for both color and ultraviolet photographs are described.

CONCLUSIONS: This consensus-based protocol for vitiligo photography will harmonize imaging for both clinical practice, translational research, and clinical trials. It can improve outcome assessment, foster multicenter collaboration, and promote better communication with patients regarding outcomes of treatment.

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