Ocular Finding in Alopecia Areata

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Alopecia areata (AA) is a common, idiopathic and sometimes recurrent non-scarring type of hair loss.

Several etiological factors, including psychological, trauma-related, genetic and autoimmune factors have been considered as possible etiological factors . A T cell-mediated autoimmune mechanism in genetically vulnerable individuals is the most acceptable etiology.

Alopecia areata presents clinically with well demarcated patches of non cicatricial hair loss in any hair bearing area with no remarkable gender preference.

Although AA may occur at any age, incidence is high among younger age groups. In fact, it is the most common form of alopecia seen in children. Various clinical patterns of alopecia have been described as patchy, diffuse, reticulate, ophiasis and ophiasis inversus. Depending on the extent of hair loss, it can be classified into alopecia subtotalis, alopecia totalis (complete loss of scalp hair), and alopecia universalis (complete loss of body hair).

National Alopecia Areata Foundation has devised “Severity of Alopecia Tool Score” (SALT score) as a measure of disease severity. Scalp is divided into 4 areas, namely, Vertex-40% of scalp surface area; right and left profiles-18% each and posterior scalp aspect-24%. SALT score is the sum of percentage of hair loss in the above mentioned areas.

Primary Outcome Measures:

  • the number of patient with occular affection in alopecia areata [ Time Frame: 2 years ]


Secondary Outcome Measures:

  • correlate dermoscopic finding with disease severity and ocular finding [ Time Frame: 2 years ]

Estimated Enrollment: 1
Anticipated Study Start Date: July 1, 2017
Estimated Study Completion Date: January 1, 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date: July 1, 2019 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Alopecia areata is now considered a systemic autoimmune disease that may have other serious comorbidities, such as cardiovascular and ocular. However, the results of studies of ocular findings in AA are controversial.

Several ocular alterations have been previously reported in patients with AA ranging from minor punctate opacities to cataract. However, there are contrasting opinions on the significance of these lenticular changes. In addition, Horner syndrome, pupil ectopia, iris atrophy, fundus changes , bilateral keratoconus, iris changes and retinal changes have been reported in AA.

Dermoscopy is a noninvasive, diagnostic tool which visualizes subtle patterns of skin lesions not normally visible to the unaided eye. Characteristic dermoscopic finding of AA included black dots , tapering hair corresponding to ” exclamation mark hairs ” , broken hairs , yellow dots , and clustered short vellus hairs ( shorter than 10 mm).

Since ocular affection can be a profound morbidity factor in patients with AA, we will search deeply in this study about this correlation in order to conclude the value of ocular screening in each and every patient with AA.