International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology

Videocapillaroscopic pattern of alopecia areata before and after diphenylciclopropenone treatment.

PMID 22230416


Alopecia areata (AA) is an inflammatory skin disease the most effective therapy for which is diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP). Videodermatoscopy and intra-vital capillaroscopy (IVCP) are two non-invasive techniques that help in the differential diagnosis of alopecias. It is known that, after DPCP therapy, there is a histologically proven significant increase of VEGF in hair follicle keratinocytes and a consequent increase in capillary vessels in the dermis of the same follicles. The aim of our study is to emphasize any clinical and videodermatoscopic-videocapillaroscopic changes after DPCP treatment in 20 patients affected by alopecia areata. Videodermatoscopic images and an intravital videocapillaroscopic analysis were performed at T0, T12 and T24 to emphasize clinical modifications and microscopic changes in vascular pattern before and after DPCP treatment. At T0, videodermatoscopy showed the presence of exclamation point hairs, hair follicles filled with hyperkeratotic plugs (yellow dots), hair follicles containing cadaverized hairs (black dots) and broken hairs. IVCP highlighted a pale scalp, and vessels were not visible. At 24 weeks (T24), videodermatoscopy revealed the disappearance or a statistically significant reduction of AA hallmarks and an increase of number of vellus hairs. Videocapillaroscopy showed a statistically significant increase of new vessels and, where neoangiogenesis were more marked, a major hair regrowth was evident. Our study emphasizes that, after DPCP therapy, neoangiogenesis is detectable by videocapillaroscopy and these new capillaries could be considered an initial positive attempt to compensate capillary loss of T0 alopecia areata images.