International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 259-264

Cross-section Trichometry: A Clinical Tool for Assessing the Progression and Treatment Response of Alopecia


Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, USA

Correspondence Address:
Joaquin J Jimenez
Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1600 NW 10th Avenue, RMSB 2023A, Miami, Florida 33136
USA
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Source of Support: TCW is the recipient of a Career Development Award from NIH/NIAMS (AR050487), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.111221

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Background: To properly assess the progression and treatment response of alopecia, one must measure the changes in hair mass, which is influenced by both the density and diameter of hair. Unfortunately, a convenient device for hair mass evaluation had not been available to dermatologists until the recent introduction of the cross-section trichometer, which directly measures the cross-sectional area of an isolated bundle of hair. Objective: We sought to evaluate the accuracy and sensitivity of the HairCheck® device, a commercial product derived from the original cross-section trichometer. Materials and Methods: Bundles of surgical silk and human hair were used to evaluate the ability of the HairCheck® device to detect and measure small changes in the number and diameter of strands, and bundle weight. Results: Strong correlations were observed between the bundle's cross-sectional area, displayed as the numeric Hair Mass Index (HMI), the number of strands, the silk/hair diameter, and the bundle dry weight. Conclusion: HMI strongly correlated with the number and diameter of silk/hair, and the weight of the bundle, suggesting that it can serve as a valid indicator of hair mass. We have given the name cross-section trichometry (CST) to the methodology of obtaining the HMI using the HairCheck® system. CST is a simple modality for the quantification of hair mass, and may be used as a convenient and useful tool to clinically assess changes in hair mass caused by thinning, shedding, breakage, or growth in males and females with progressive alopecia or those receiving alopecia treatment.


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