Assessment of the usefulness of dihydrotestosterone in the diagnostics of patients with androgenetic alopecia

Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2014 Aug;31(4):207-15. doi: 10.5114/pdia.2014.40925. Epub 2014 Sep 8.


Introduction: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is the most common form of hair loss. Clinically observed hair loss is due to the continuous miniaturization of affected hair follicles. Genetic factors and androgenic factors especially dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a testosterone tissue metabolite, play major roles in the pathogenesis of AGA. However, expert opinions about the usefulness of DHT in the diagnosis of this type of alopecia are divided.

Aim: To evaluate the usefulness of DHT level in patients with androgenetic alopecia compared with the control group.

Material and methods: The study comprised 49 subjects: 19 women and 9 men with androgenetic alopecia. The control group consisted of 17 healthy women and 4 men without hair loss.

Results: Increased serum concentrations of DHT were observed in patients with androgenetic alopecia (17 women, 5 men), but also in the control group. The differences in mean values of DHT were not significant according to the types of alopecia and the control group. Increased serum concentrations of DHT were not correlated with the advance of alopecia.

Conclusions: Dihydrotestosterone is the most influential androgen and seems to play a very important role in the pathogenesis of androgenetic alopecia. Based on the results of our study and others, the most important factors would appear to be the genetically-determined sensitivity of the follicles to DHT and their different reactions to androgen concentration.

Keywords: androgenetic alopecia; diagnostic; dihydrotestosterone.