Author(s): Sehgal VN
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Abstract The parents of an 18-year-old woman had noticed white hair while combing their daughter's hair 12 years ago. They found tiny white spots on her scalp, but she was asymptomatic. The spots have since progressed. Examination of the affected skin on the scalp was marked by the presence of a chalky/ivory white macule, 8 to 10 cm in diameter, conforming to that of segmental (zosteriformis) vitiligo (Figure 1). The lesions were located on the temporoparietal region of the scalp. The hair over the macules was white (leukotrichia) and dry, coarse, and brittle. The patient's nails were thin and dull. Her thyroid profile revealed the following: triiodothyronine, 1.12 nmol/L (0.95-2.5 nmol/L); thyroxine, 69.21 nmol/L (60.0-120.0 nmol/L); and thyroid-stimulating hormone, 6.26 microIU/mL (0.25-5.00 microIU/mL), indicative of primary hypothyroidism. Liver and renal function tests were within normal limits. A lipid profile revealed the following: total lipids, 503.8 mg\% (400-700 mg \%); triglycerides, 123.0 mg \% (160 mg \%); cholesterol, 212.0 mg \% (150-250 mg \%); high-density lipoprotein, 43.1 mg \% (30-63 mg \%); and low-density lipoprotein, 144.3 mg \% (50 mg \%). Electrocardiographic findings were normal. History of tiredness, constipation, depression, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, muscle weakness, cramps, and increased menstrual flow supported the diagnosis. The patient was administered 100 microg of thyroxine once a day along with methoxsalen, the dose of which was calculated at 0.6 mg/kg to 0.7 mg/kg body weight per day given on alternate days, followed 2 hours later by exposure to UV-A (1 J/cm2) irradiation (psoralen-UV-A [PUVA]), supplemented by 1 mg of beta-methasone, 150 mg of levamisole on 2 consecutive days per week, and an antioxidant. During the course of 7 weeks, the macules (13 exposures) had become erythematous, with an appearance of perifollicular/ marginal pigmentation. Repeat examination showed a thyroid profile of total triiodothyronine (T3), 127.3 microg/dL (86-186); total thyroxine (T4), 6.54 microg/dL (4.5-12.5 microg/dL); and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), 0.32 microIU/mL (0.3-5.6 microIU/mL), supplemented by antithyroid microsomal peroxidase antibodies (thyroid microsomal antibody and thyroid peroxidase), 21.9 IU/mL (1-40 IU/mL), and antithyroglobulin antibodies, 78.1 U/mL (1-100 U/mL). During the patient's treatment period, 4 other patients with clinical symptoms and signs of long-standing hypothyroidism developed vitiligo, the duration of which was variable in each patient (Table I). All of the patients were taking thyroxin. Thyroid and lipid profiles were performed periodically to evaluate the progress (Table I). These patients were also treated with PUVA therapy and thyroxin. During the course of treatment, 2 of the patients noticed asymptomatic, progressive, localized, and well-circumscribed hair loss at the temporal region of the scalp that extended to involve the vertex, conforming to findings of alopecia areata (Figure 2A and Figure 2B).
This article was published in Skinmed
and referenced in Dermatology and Dermatologic Diseases