Funding sources None.
CLINICAL AND LABORATORY INVESTIGATIONS
Hair shaft abnormalities after chemotherapy and tamoxifen therapy in patients with breast cancer evaluated by optical coherence tomography
Article first published online: 5 OCT 2012
© 2012 The Authors. BJD © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists 2012
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 167, Issue 6, pages 1272–1278, December 2012
How to Cite
Lindner, J., Hillmann, K., Blume-Peytavi, U., Lademann, J., Lux, A., Stroux, A., Schneider, A. and Garcia Bartels, N. (2012), Hair shaft abnormalities after chemotherapy and tamoxifen therapy in patients with breast cancer evaluated by optical coherence tomography. British Journal of Dermatology, 167: 1272–1278. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11180.x
Conflicts of interest None declared.
- Issue published online: 26 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 5 OCT 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 26 JUL 2012 11:45PM EST
- Accepted for publication 20 July 2012
Background Antineoplastic treatment for breast cancer is frequently associated with alopecia. Increasingly, changes in the texture and shape of regrowing hair after chemotherapy have been reported, without evaluation on a scientific basis. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides highly reproducible measurements of hair shaft parameters.
Objectives This study aims to evaluate hair shaft alterations using OCT in chemotherapy-induced alopecia and in patients taking tamoxifen.
Methods The measurements of this prospective case series were performed on women aged 29–68 years, receiving either tamoxifen (n = 17) or chemotherapy (n = 17) prior to (T1) and after (T2) treatment. Each time, 20 hairs from two different sites of the scalp (frontal, occipital) were examined by OCT. The hair parameters were characterized by cross section (CS) and form factor (FF). The ratio of maximal to minimal hair diameters determined the FF.
Results After chemotherapy, the CS of hairs was significantly lower compared with hairs taken at T1. The FF did not vary between T1 and T2 for the frontal area, but it did for the occipital area. In patients treated with tamoxifen, changes were observed neither in CS nor in FF. However, comparing both therapeutic groups, there were significant differences in CS and FF for T2, but not for T1.
Conclusions Reported changes in hair structure after chemotherapy may be due to reduction of hair shaft calibre and increase of FF in regrowing hair. The OCT technique is a promising method to gain more insight into chemotherapy-induced changes of hair morphology.