Send to

Choose Destination
Saudi Med J. 2016 Jun;37(6):656-61. doi: 10.15537/Smj.2016.6.13777.

Severe subtype of alopecia areata is highly associated with thyroid autoimmunity.

Author information

Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail.



To assess the significance of thyroid autoimmune screening in alopecia areata (AA) patients in Saudi population, and to determine whether there is a difference in thyroid autoimmune susceptibility between mild and severe AA.


In a prospective case-control study, we included 50 alopecia totalis (AT) and alopecia universalis (AU) patients, 50 age- and gender-matched patients with localized AA, and 50 age- and gender- matched healthy subjects between March 2015 and August 2015. Patients with AA were consecutively recruited from the hair disorders out-patient clinic of King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Thyroid autoantibodies (TAAs) were positive in AT/AU (40%), mild AA (14%), and healthy subjects (4%). The frequency of TAAs was significantly higher in patients with AT/AU than in mild AA (p=0.001) and healthy controls (p less than 0.001). The frequency of thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO-Abs) was significantly higher in patients with AT/AU than in mild AA and healthy controls (p less than 0.001 for both). The frequency of TG-Abs was significantly higher in patients with AT/AU (p=0.003) and mild AA (p=0.043) than in healthy controls. Serum TSH level was significantly higher in AT/AU patients than in mild AA patients (p=0.006) and healthy controls (p=0.005).


Severe subtype of AA is associated with a high risk of autoimmune thyroid disease. This highlights the significance of screening for thyroid abnormalities and TAAs in patients with AT/AU.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Saudi Medical Journal Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center