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Dermatol Ther. 2014 Jul-Aug;27(4):252-4. doi: 10.1111/dth.12130. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Sulfotransferase activity in plucked hair follicles predicts response to topical minoxidil in the treatment of female androgenetic alopecia.

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Northwest Dermatology and Research Center, LLC, Portland, Oregon.


Two percent topical minoxidil is the only US Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for the treatment of female androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Its success has been limited by the low percentage of responders. Meta-analysis of several studies reporting the number of responders to 2% minoxidil monotherapy indicates moderate hair regrowth in only 13-20% of female patients. Five percent minoxidil solution, when used off-label, may increase the percentage of responders to as much as 40%. As such, a biomarker for predicting treatment response would have significant clinical utility. In a previous study, Goren et‚ÄČal. reported an association between sulfotransferase activity in plucked hair follicles and minoxidil response in a mixed cohort of male and female patients. The aim of this study was to replicate these findings in a well-defined cohort of female patients with AGA treated with 5% minoxidil daily for a period of 6 months. Consistent with the prior study, we found that sulfotransferase activity in plucked hair follicles predicts treatment response with 93% sensitivity and 83% specificity. Our study further supports the importance of minoxidil sulfation in eliciting a therapeutic response and provides further insight into novel targets for increasing minoxidil efficacy.


androgenetic alopecia; minoxidil; sulfotransferase

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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