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Clinical significance of dermoscopy in alopecia areata: analysis of 300 cases

Authors

  • Shigeki Inui MD,

    1. From the Department of Regenerative Dermatology, Osaka University School of Medicine, and Department of Dermatology, Saiseikai Tondabayashi Hospital, Osaka, Japan
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  • Takeshi Nakajima MD,

    1. From the Department of Regenerative Dermatology, Osaka University School of Medicine, and Department of Dermatology, Saiseikai Tondabayashi Hospital, Osaka, Japan
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  • Koichi Nakagawa MD,

    1. From the Department of Regenerative Dermatology, Osaka University School of Medicine, and Department of Dermatology, Saiseikai Tondabayashi Hospital, Osaka, Japan
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  • Satoshi Itami MD

    1. From the Department of Regenerative Dermatology, Osaka University School of Medicine, and Department of Dermatology, Saiseikai Tondabayashi Hospital, Osaka, Japan
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Shigeki Inui, MD Department of Regenerative Dermatology Osaka University School of Medicine 2-2 G2, Yamadaoka Suita-shi Osaka 5650871 Japan
E-mail: inui@r-derma.med.osaka-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Objective  To determine dermoscopic findings of alopecia areata (AA) from a large-scale study that can be used as clinical indicators of disease.

Methods  Dermoscopic examination of areas of hair loss on the scalp of 300 Asian patients with AA was performed using a DermLite® II pro, which can block light reflection from the skin surface without immersion gels. Using the Spearman rank-order correlation coefficient by rank test, correlations between the incidence of each dermoscopic finding and the severity of disease and disease activity were examined. The sensitivity and specificity of the findings as diagnostic clues for AA were evaluated.

Results  Characteristic dermoscopic findings of AA included black dots, tapering hairs, broken hairs, yellow dots, and clustered short vellus hairs (shorter than 10 mm) in the areas of hair loss. Black dots, yellow dots, and short vellus hairs correlated with the severity of disease, and black dots, tapering hairs, broken hairs, and short vellus hairs correlated with disease activity. For diagnosis, yellow dots and short vellus hairs were the most sensitive markers, and black dots, tapering hairs, and broken hairs were the most specific markers.

Conclusion  Dermoscopic characteristics, such as black dots, tapering hairs, broken hairs, yellow dots, and clustered short vellus hairs, are useful clinical indicators for AA.

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