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Efficacy and safety of diphenylcyclopropenone among Chinese patients with steroid resistant and extensive alopecia areata


  • Conflict of Interest
    None declared.

  • Disclosure
    (a) This work was not supported by any funding. (b) The authors have no relationship with any pharmaceutical companies.

Nai-Ming T. Luk.


Background  Topical immunotherapy has recently been found useful in the treatment of chronic and extensive Alopecia Areata (AA).

Objective  To evaluate the efficacy and safety of diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) use among Chinese patients with steroid resistant and extensive AA in our institute.

Methods  The medical records of 31 Chinese patients treated with DPCP were analysed retrospectively. The efficacy, adverse effects, and relapse rate of DPCP treatment were reviewed.

Results  Thirty-one (16 male, 15 female) Chinese patients with extensive, steroid resistant Alopecia Areata and a mean age of 28.9 years (SE 10.4) were treated. The mean age of onset was 17.8 years (SE 8.8) with an average disease duration of 11.2 years (SE 7.7). Ten patients had a history of atopy and 4 had a history of thyroid disease. Nail changes were found in 14 patients and a family history of AA was found in 2 patients. Thirteen patients (41.9%) had experienced total hair loss. Two patients abandoned the treatment due to severe side effects. Of the remaining 29 patients, 4 (13.8%), 7 (24.1%), 5 (17.2%), and 13 (44.8%) achieved >90% complete response, >50–90% partial response, >10–50% minimal response, and <10% no response hair regrowth, respectively. Adverse effects included pruritus, erythema, vesiculation, scaling, cervical lymphadenopathy, dyspigmentation and urticarial reactions. Relapse occurred (>25% hair loss) in 69.23% of patients after 18 months of follow up.

Conclusions  DPCP is an effective and tolerable treatment for Chinese patients with extensive, steroid resistant AA.