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Dermatology. 2007;215(4):320-4.

Pulse corticosteroid therapy for alopecia areata: study of 139 patients.

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  • 1Department of Regenerative Dermatology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.



Recent reports of pulse corticosteroid therapy for alopecia areata (AA) show its efficacy for patients with a history of < or = 1 year but not for recalcitrant cases or alopecia totalis/universalis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pulse corticosteroid therapy for recent-onset AA patients.


A total of 139 severe AA patients aged >15 years were included in this study. The duration from the onset of active hair loss was within 12 months for 125 (89.9%) of those patients.


Of the patients, 72.7% had hair loss on > 50% of their scalp area. Among the recent-onset group (duration of AA < or = 6 months), 59.4% were good responders (> 75% regrowth of alopecia lesions), while 15.8% with > 6 months duration showed a good response. Recent-onset AA patients with less severe disease (< or = 50% hair loss) responded at a rate of 88.0%, but only 21.4% of recent-onset patients with 100% hair loss responded. No serious adverse effects were observed.

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