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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 78  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 709--714

Diffuse alopecia areata is associated with intense inflammatory infiltration and CD8+ T cells in hair loss regions and an increase in serum IgE level


1 Department of Dermatology, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, China
2 Department of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, China

Correspondence Address:
Xingqi Zhang
Department of Dermatology, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhongshan 2nd Road, Guangzhou 510080
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 23075639

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Background: Mechanism leading to an abrupt hair loss in diffuse alopecia areata (AA) remains unclear. Aims: To explore the characteristics of diffuse AA and possible factors involved in its pathogenesis. Methods: Clinical and laboratory data of 17 diffuse AA patients and 37 patchy AA patients were analyzed retrospectively. Serum IgE level was evaluated in all diffuse and patchy AA patients, as well as 27 healthy subjects without hair loss to serve as normal control. Univariate analysis was performed using Fisher's exact test and Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Associations between inflammatory cell infiltration and laboratory values were analyzed using Spearman rank correlation test. Results: The mean age of patients with diffuse AA was 27 years with a mean disease duration of 1.77 months. All of them presented in spring or summer with an acute onset of diffuse hair loss preceded by higher incidence of scalp pruritus. Although no statistically significant difference on the incidence of atopic disease among three groups has been found, serum IgE level in diffuse AA was higher than that in healthy controls, but was comparable to that in patchy AA group. Histopathology of lesional scalp biopsies showed more intense infiltration comprising of mononuclear cells, eosinophils, CD3 + , and CD8 + T cells around hair bulbs in diffuse AA group than in patchy AA group. Moreover, IgE level in diffuse AA patients positively correlated with intensity of infiltration by mononuclear cells, eosinophils, and CD8 + T cells. Conclusions: Hypersensitivity may be involved in pathogenesis of diffuse AA. The acute onset of diffuse AA may be related to intense local inflammatory infiltration of hair loss region and an increase in serum IgE level.






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