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Dermatol Clin. 1988 Apr;6(2):229-39.

Vitiligo and the Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome.

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St. James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


Vitiligo is a common acquired systemic disease that can be associated with several different autoimmune disorders. Besides the psychologically upsetting depigmentation of the skin that it causes, it can be associated with ocular abnormalities. There are three different theories regarding the etiology of vitiligo, none of which is entirely satisfactory. There are some valuable animal models for studying the disease, but they obviously have limitations in their application to the human disease. The melanocyte is present in other areas besides the skin, including the leptomeninges, the retinal pigment epithelium, the uveal tract, and the inner ear. Therefore, it is not surprising that whatever process destroys the melanocyte in the skin can also affect diverse tissues such as the eye, the ear, and the central nervous system. It is postulated that the Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome may be part of the systemic disease, vitiligo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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