Clinical utility and validity of minoxidil response testing in androgenetic alopecia

Dermatol Ther. 2015 Jan-Feb;28(1):13-6. doi: 10.1111/dth.12164. Epub 2014 Aug 12.


Clinical response to 5% topical minoxidil for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is typically observed after 3-6 months. Approximately 40% of patients will regrow hair. Given the prolonged treatment time required to elicit a response, a diagnostic test for ruling out nonresponders would have significant clinical utility. Two studies have previously reported that sulfotransferase enzyme activity in plucked hair follicles predicts a patient's response to topical minoxidil therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical utility and validity of minoxidil response testing. In this communication, the present authors conducted an analysis of completed and ongoing studies of minoxidil response testing. The analysis confirmed the clinical utility of a sulfotransferase enzyme test in successfully ruling out 95.9% of nonresponders to topical minoxidil for the treatment of AGA.

Keywords: androgenetic alopecia; minoxidil; response test.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Hair Follicle / drug effects*
  • Hair Follicle / embryology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minoxidil / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Minoxidil