Background Vitiligo is a common disorder whose exact cause is unknown, but genetic factors are thought to be involved. We analyzed 120 Korean proband families to clarify which genetic factors are involved in the pathogenesis of vitiligo in Korean patients.
Methods The genetics of vitiligo were analyzed in 120 Korean proband families out of 1030 vitiligo patients. Each family was analyzed through a proband afflicted with vitiligo.
Results In 51 (42.5%) of 120 proband families, at least one first-degree relative of the proband had vitiligo. The incidence of those affected among 1755 relatives (first-,
second-, and third-degree) was found to be 8.0 ± 0.6%. There was a statistically significant departure for segregation analysis which was inconsistent with inheritance as an autosomal or X-linked locus model. On the basis of our results, the inheritance pattern of vitiligo is more likely to tend toward the model of multifactorial inheritance. The threshold trait among first-degree relatives (7.2%) appeared to tend more toward the square root of the frequency in the general population (10%) than towards those of dominant (50%) or recessive (25%) models.
Conclusions These results indicate that there are certain genetic factors involved in the etiology of vitiligo, and that vitiligo seems to have a polygenic nature.