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Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia in Women: The Mayo Clinic Experience With 148 Patients, 1992-2016

      Abstract

      Objective

      To characterize the clinicopathologic findings, comorbidities, and treatment outcomes of women with frontal fibrosing alopecia.

      Patients and Methods

      Retrospective review of women with frontal fibrosing alopecia at Mayo Clinic from January 1, 1992, to February 22, 2016. The terms “scarring alopecia,” “lichen,” “planopilaris,” “fibrosing,” and “alopecia” were used for the search of female patients aged 1 to 100 years. A total of 686 patients were reviewed to confirm the diagnosis of frontal fibrosing alopecia. Patients were included if they met diagnostic criteria.

      Results

      A total of 148 women with frontal fibrosing alopecia were identified, with a mean age of 62 years; 60.1% presented with eyebrow loss; 67.6% and 27.7% described preceding or concurrent pruritus and trichodynia, respectively; 44.6% had a history of hypothyroidism; 13% had a history of surgical menopause; and 63.3% had a history of hormone replacement therapy. A total of 18.2% had lichen planus at other body sites, and 26.3% achieved disease stabilization, often requiring combination therapies. The mean time to remission was 1.8 years.

      Conclusion

      Patients with frontal fibrosing alopecia typically present with frontotemporal and eyebrow alopecia with preceding symptoms. Hypothyroidism and a history of hysterectomy may be more common than previously reported. Time to presentation, diagnosis, and stabilization is often months to years. Patients who lack treatment response may present with eyebrow loss, eyelash loss, and facial papules. Combination therapy is helpful in achieving slowing of disease progression or disease stabilization, although recurrence is common. Additional studies on treatment and efficacy are needed. Limitations to this study include the retrospective design and varied follow-up.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      FFA (frontal fibrosing alopecia), HRT (hormone replacement therapy), LP (lichen planus), LPP (lichen planopilaris)
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