Alopecia areata. How not to miss Satoyoshi syndrome?

J Dermatol. 2014 Nov;41(11):951-6. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.12633. Epub 2014 Oct 7.


Satoyoshi syndrome is a multisystem disorder of suspected autoimmune etiology, characterized predominantly by alopecia, muscle spasms and diarrhea. Antinuclear antibodies are present in 60% of patients. The syndrome primarily affects girls and young women. Trichoscopy shows regularly distributed yellow dots, indistinguishable from typical alopecia areata. The condition may be easily misdiagnosed and treated as alopecia areata. On the basis of an in-depth analysis of all published cases we developed diagnostic criteria for Satoyoshi syndrome. We also suggest that two subtypes of the disorder should be distinguished, the ANA-positive Satoyoshi syndrome with generally good response to systemic glucocorticosteroid therapy and the ANA-negative Satoyoshi with less favorable prognosis. In our opinion all patients will alopecia areata (in particular alopecia totalis) should be inquired about muscle spasms and diarrhea and tested for antinuclear antibodies to decrease the risk of missing Satoyoshi syndrome.

Keywords: amenorrhea; dermatoscopy; dermoscopy; hair; histopathology; trichoscopy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / diagnosis*
  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Alopecia Areata / diagnosis*
  • Bone and Bones / abnormalities*
  • Diarrhea / diagnosis*
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Humans
  • Spasm / diagnosis*
  • Spasm / etiology

Supplementary concepts

  • Satoyoshi syndrome