Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Alopecia areata

Contributor(s): Catherine Fraser , Mike Reynolds

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 infiltrate the follicular bulb.
  • Signs:  hair loss.
  • Diagnosis: history and clinical signs, biopsy.
  • Treatment: no effective treatment available.
  • Prognosis:
    • Excellent for survival.
    • Guarded for spontaneous hair regrowth.

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.
  • 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.

Epidemiology

  • A disease of the individual animal, there are no herd implications.

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.
  • 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. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. pp 469.
  • Scott D W (1989) Large Animal Dermatology. W BSaunders, pp 393-394.

 


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