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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91-93  

Annular alopecia areata: Report of two cases

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication12-Dec-2013

Correspondence Address:
Manish Bansal
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi - 221 005, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.122970

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Alopecia areata (AA) is an auto-immune disorder characterized by the appearance of non-scarring bald patches affecting the hair bearing areas of the body. Scalp is the most common site of involvement. AA can affect any age group. The usual pattern of the hair loss is oval or round. We hereby, report two cases of annular and circinate pattern of AA due to its unusual morphology.

Keywords: Alopecia areata, annular, scalp

How to cite this article:
Bansal M, Manchanda K, Pandey S S. Annular alopecia areata: Report of two cases. Int J Trichol 2013;5:91-3

How to cite this URL:
Bansal M, Manchanda K, Pandey S S. Annular alopecia areata: Report of two cases. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Mar 29];5:91-3. Available from: https://www.ijtrichology.com/text.asp?2013/5/2/91/122970

   Introduction Top

Alopecia areata (AA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that involves hair follicles and sometimes the nails. It involves any hair bearing area of the body, but scalp is involved in most of the cases. It is the most common form of non-scarring alopecia. It is thought to be an organ specific autoimmune disorder with a genetic predisposition. [1] AA is also associated with other auto-immune disorders such as vitiligo, thyroid abnormalities and diabetes and are commonly reported together. [2] Alopecia of the scalp shows a great variety of shape and extent varying from a single round patch to that involving large surface area termed as alopecia totalis. Few authors have reported different patterns of AA over scalp including linear pattern and rectangular pattern. [3],[4] However, annular pattern of AA has never been reported in English literature. We hereby, report two cases of AA presenting in an unusual annular pattern.

   Case Reports Top

Case 1

This was a case report of a 25-year-old male patient who presented with the chief complaints of asymptomatic loss of hair at multiple sites over the scalp for 2 month. Hair loss was annular in pattern as it was more obvious at the periphery compared with the center of the patch. There was no history of similar illness in family members and also no history of drug intake and trauma. On examination, there were multiple well-defined annular patches of non-scarring alopecia of size ranging from 2 cm × 3 cm to 4 cm × 4 cm present mainly at parietal and occipital region of scalp [Figure 1]a. The area was smooth with no associated skin changes. Systemic examination was within the normal limits. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) examination of hair showed no fungal elements. Fungal culture with Sabouraud's media at 4 weeks revealed no growth. Histopathological examination from the hairless region in scalp showed a few vellus follicles in mid dermis with a sparse perifollicular lymphocytic infiltrate [Figure 1]b. The dermis and subcutis also showed several follicular stellae representing former follicular papillae. The total number of follicles was substantially reduced with no terminal follicles. On the basis of clinical examination and histopathology, the diagnosis of annular AA was made. Patient was given intralesional injections of trimacinolone acetonide (5 mg/ml) every 4 weeks and showed remarkable improvement in the lesions after 3 months (3 intralesional injections) of follow-up [Figure 1]c.
Figure 1

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Case 2

A 27-year-old male patient presented with the chief complaints of asymptomatic loss of hair from the scalp for the past 3 months. The hair loss started as a small patch and gradually increased in size assuming an annular pattern. There was no history of similar illness in family, no history of drug intake and no history suggestive of systemic illness. On examination, a well-defined area of non-scarring alopecia in an annular pattern was present at the occipital region of the scalp [Figure 2]. KOH examination did not reveal any fungal hyphae. Histopathological examination of a tissue taken from the affected area confirmed the diagnosis of AA. The patient improved markedly in 5 months with the intralesional triamcolone acetonide injections (5 mg/ml) every 4 weeks.
Figure 2: Clinical image of case II showing well-defined area of non-scarring alopecia in an annular pattern over the occipital region

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   Discussion Top

AA is a chronic organ specific disease which affects the hair follicle and occasionally nails. The prevalence of AA has been reported to be 0.2% of the population at a time and 1.7% of the population experience an episode of AA in their life time. [1] The exact etiopathogenesis is unknown and is thought to be mediated by autoreactive T-cells against hair follicle. [1] The histopathological features vary depending upon the stage of the disease. The earliest and the most important feature in the acute stage is peribulbar lymphocytic infiltrate, which may extend into the epithelium and hair matrix. In the later stages, inflammation may be diminished or absent. [5]

AA has been reported to be associated with various autoimmune diseases such as myxedema and pernicious anemia, atopy, psychological stress and certain malignancies. [4] The onset of AA may be at any age, with a peak in first 3 decades of life and is seen equally in males and females. [1] The characteristic initial lesion is a circumscribed, bald smooth patch with short easily extractable broken hair known as exclamation mark hair at the periphery of the patch. It can also progress to alopecia totalis involving whole scalp and alopecia universalis involving hair over other body parts. Nail shows fine stippled pitting of the nail plate, but some cases also show trachyonychia or onychomadesis. [1] As there are no randomized trials, so treatment recommendations are based mainly on case series and clinical experience. [1] Counseling of patient on the nature of disease is essential. Topical corticosteroids are widely used to treat AA sometimes under occlusion. [6] Other treatment options include intralesional hydrocortisone acetate (25 mg/ml) and triamcinolone acetonide (5-10 mg/ml) and oral corticosteroid therapy. Contact immunotherapy with dinitrochlorobenzene, squaric acid di butylester and diphenylcyclopropenone has been recommended for larger areas with variable results. [7],[8] Photochemotherapy, topical minoxidil application and use of dithranol have also been tried for treatment of AA. [1]

Certain unique patterns of hair loss in AA have been described in the literature recently including linear alopecia, which was described to be a variant of biopsy proven lupus profundus and rectangular pattern AA which was found to be associated with malignancies including diffuse large B cell lymphoma, alveolar soft part sarcoma and cavernous sinus arteriovenous fistula with embolization. [3],[4] The above presented cases represent a unique annular pattern not described before. We want to conclude that AA may present in any morphological pattern although the nature of the treatment and the response remains the same.

   References Top

1.Paus R, Olsen AE, Messenger GA. Hair growth disorders. In: Fitzpatrick TB, Wolff K, Goldsmith AL, Gilchrest AB, Paller SA, Leffell JD, editors. Dermtology in General Medicine. 7 th ed. New york, NY: Mc-Graw-Hill; 2008. p. 753-77.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Thomas EA, Kadyan RS. Alopecia areata and autoimmunity: A clinical study. Indian J Dermatol 2008;53:70-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.Rhee CH, Kim SM, Kim MH, Cinn YW, Ihm CW. Two cases of linear alopecia on the occipital scalp. Ann Dermatol 2009;21:159-63.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Shin J, Jang HS, Cho SB. Rectangular-patterned occipital Alopecia Areata: A report of three cases. Int J Trichology 2012;4:164-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Stefanato CM. Histopathology of alopecia: A clinicopathological approach to diagnosis. Histopathology 2010;56:24-38.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Tosti A, Piraccini BM, Pazzaglia M, Vincenzi C. Clobetasol propionate 0.05% under occlusion in the treatment of alopecia totalis/universalis. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;49:96-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Rokhsar CK, Shupack JL, Vafai JJ, Washenik K. Efficacy of topical sensitizers in the treatment of Alopecia Areata. J Am Acad Dermatol 1998;39:751-61.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Singh G, Okade R, Naik C, Dayanand CD. Diphenylcyclopropenone immunotherapy in ophiasis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2007;73:432-3.  Back to cited text no. 8
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

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