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Pulse Corticosteroid Therapy for Alopecia Areata: Study of 139 Patients

Nakajima T. · Inui S. · Itami S.
Department of Regenerative Dermatology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan Dermatology 2007;215:320–324 (DOI:10.1159/000107626)


Background/Aim: Recent reports of pulse corticosteroid therapy for alopecia areata (AA) show its efficacy for patients with a history of ≤1 year but not for recalcitrant cases or alopecia totalis/universalis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pulse corticosteroid therapy for recent-onset AA patients. Method: A total of 139 severe AA patients aged >15 years were included in this study. The duration from the onset of active hair loss was within 12 months for 125 (89.9%) of those patients. Results: Of the patients, 72.7% had hair loss on >50% of their scalp area. Among the recent-onset group (duration of AA ≤6 months), 59.4% were good responders (>75% regrowth of alopecia lesions), while 15.8% with >6 months duration showed a good response. Recent-onset AA patients with less severe disease (≤50% hair loss) responded at a rate of 88.0%, but only 21.4% of recent-onset patients with 100% hair loss responded. No serious adverse effects were observed.


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