Incidence of alopecia areata in lupus erythematosus

Arch Dermatol. 1992 Mar;128(3):368-71.


Background: A small percentage of patients with alopecia areata have connective diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, discoid lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma. Lupus erythematosus is associated with a number of different types of alopecia, but the incidence of alopecia areata in lupus erythematosus has not been examined.

Observations: Of our cohort of 39 patients with lupus erythematosus, alopecia areata developed in 10% (four patients), in contrast to 0.42% of general dermatologic patients. Biopsy specimens of alopecia areata lesions in each of our patients showed continuous granular deposition of IgG at the dermoepidermal junction, a finding usually found in only a minority of alopecia areata cases. Intralesional injections of corticosteroids were effective treatment.

Conclusions: The incidence of alopecia areata in patients with lupus erythematosus is increased. Recognition of this form of alopecia allows for specific therapy with intralesional corticosteroids.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia Areata / epidemiology*
  • Alopecia Areata / etiology
  • Alopecia Areata / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Male