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Dermatology. 2002;205(4):367-73.

Acute diffuse and total alopecia of the female scalp. A new subtype of diffuse alopecia areata that has a favorable prognosis.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.



Although alopecia areata (AA) usually starts with focal lesions of hair loss and then presents several different clinical forms, AA may begin as diffuse hair loss. We examined 9 female patients who presented with acute, diffuse and total hair loss of the scalp and took a similar clinical course with a favorable prognosis.


To categorize such cases as a new subgroup of diffuse alopecia.


We studied 9 patients who showed acute, diffuse and total hair loss of the scalp within 1 month after their first visit to our hospital by comparing their clinical course, laboratory tests and histopathological findings with those of common, patchy AA, alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis.


None of the patients had a background of systemic diseases or telogen effluvium. All the patients were female, and 8 of the 9 cases recovered cosmetically acceptable hair growth within 6 months regardless of steroid administration. The histology of he lesions was indistinguishable from that of AA except for a remarkable eosinophilic infiltrate.


These cases can be categorized as a new subtype of inflammatory noncicatricial alopecia that is characterized by a marked female predominance, tissue eosinophilia and uniquely short clinical course. We suggest to name it 'acute diffuse and total alopecia of the female scalp (ADTAFS)'.

Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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