ISSN 2398-2977      

Hair: alopecia areata

pequis

Synonym(s): Hair loss


Introduction

  • Alopecia areata is an inflammatory hair loss observed in humans, dogs, cats, horses, cattle, primates, poultry, mice and rats.
  • Cause: it is thought to be an auto-immune disease in which auto-antibodies targeting various hair follicle antigens are produced and T-lymphocytes infiltrates the follicular bulb.
  • Signs: hair loss.
  • Diagnosis: history and clinical signs, skin scrapings, cytology, biopsy.
  • Treatment: no effective treatment available.
  • Prognosis: excellent to guarded.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Auto-reactive antibodies attacking the hair follicles.
  • In the horse, the antigens targeted are heterogeneous and include trichohyalin and hair keratins of 4060 kDa.

Predisposing factors

General
  • None known in horses.
  • Genetics and stress are thought to play a role in humans.

Pathophysiology

  • Exact pathogenesis is unknown.
  • It is postulated that follicular antigens become exposed and trigger auto-immune response   →   the production of antibodies and auto-reactive lymphocytes.

Timecourse

  • Usually slow development over a period of months.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Bruet V, Degorce-Rubiales F, Abadie J & Bourdeau P (2008) Severe alopecia areata and onychodystrophy on all four feet of a French trotter mare. Vet Rec 162 (23), 758-760 PubMed.
  • Colombo S, Keen J A, Brownstein D G et al (2004) Alopecia areata with lymphocytic mural folliculitis affecting the isthmus in a Thoroughbred mareVet Derm 15 (4), 260-265 PubMed.
  • Tobin D J, Alhaidari Z & Olivry T (1998) Equine alopecia areata autoantibodies target multiple hair follicle antigens and may alter hair growthExp Derm 7, 289-297 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Schott H C, Petersen A & Dunstan R W et al (1998) Spontaneous Recovery from Equine Alopecia Areata/Universalis: Case Report and Comparison of the Disorder in Other Species. In: Advances in Veterinary Dermatology. Vol 3. Eds: Kwochka K W, Willemse T & Von Tscharner C. Butterworth Heinemann, UK. pp 469.

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