Frontal fibrosing alopecia.

Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, USA.
Dermatology online journal 02/2005; 11(4):6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A 75-year-old woman presented with a 3-year history of progressive loss of her eyebrow hair and with frontal-parietal hairline recession. Multiple biopsy specimens supported a histopathologic diagnosis of lichen planopilaris. With these histolopathologic findings, and the patient's clinical presentation, a diagnosis of frontal fibrosing alopecia was made. Treatment to date with topical glucocorticoid preparations, intralesional triamcinolone injections, and tacrolimus ointment have been unsuccessful.

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    ABSTRACT: Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) was first described in 1994 and is considered a variant of lichen planopilaris in a patterned distribution that primarily affects postmenopausal women. Cicatricial alopecia of the frontoparietal hairline is characteristic; the affected area appears as a shiny, band-like zone of incomplete hair loss with skin-coloured small hyperkeratotic papules. We describe a case of a premenopausal woman with this rare disease. To date there are very few reports of FFA in premenopausal women. The immunohistochemical investigation with lymphocytic markers (CD4, CD8, CD20, CD45RA, CD57) revealed CD8 positive lymphocytes penetrating the follicular epithelium. Direct immunofluorescence showed clumped deposition of IgM along the follicular basement membrane zone.
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    ABSTRACT: Lichen planopilaris is a chronic scarring alopecia characterized by follicular hyperkeratosis, perifollicular erythema, and loss of follicular orifices. The scalp lesions may be single or multiple and commonly involve the vertex and parietal area. The hair follicles at the margin of the alopecic patches reveal perifollicular erythema. Anagen hairs can be pulled out easily in active lesions. Associated cutaneous, nail, and mucous membrane lichen planus may be present. Commonly encountered symptoms and signs are increased hair shedding, itching, scaling, burning, and tenderness. Differentiation from other cicatricial alopecia can be performed through meticulous evaluation of the clinical, histopathologic, and immunohistopathologic findings. Treatment strategies depend on the disease activity and physician expertise. Although there are no definitive curative modalities, some new discoveries and conceptual advances continue to broaden our treatment options of this complex condition.
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