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Indian J Dermatol. 2009;54(1):17-9. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.48979.

Alopecia areata is not associated with Helicobacter pylori.

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Department of Dermatology, Assiut University Hospital, Egypt.



Alopecia areata (AA) is an immune-mediated form of hair loss that occurs in all ethnic groups, ages, and both sexes. Helicobacter pylori has been associated with many extra-digestive dermatological conditions. The causal relation between alopecia areata and Helicobacter pylori is discussed in this study.


We have screened for the presence of H. pylori in patients with AA, in order to determine any potential role in its patho-physiology. We have prospectively studied 31 patients with alopecia areata and 24 healthy volunteers of similar gender, for the presence of H. pylori stool antigen (HpSAg).


Optical density values for H. pylori infection was positive in 18 of the 31 patients evaluated (58.1%), while in 13 patients, the values did not support H. pylori infection (41.9%). In the control group, 10 of the 24 (41.7%) had positive results. Within the group of alopecia areata, there was no significant difference between HpSAg positive and negative patients.


The results have shown that a relation between Helicobacter pylori and alopecia areata is not supported. We advise that H. pylori detection need not to be included in the laboratory work up of alopecia areata.


Alopecia areata; Helicobacter pylori; etiology

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