Vitiligo: Pathogenesis, clinical variants and treatment approaches

Autoimmun Rev. 2016 Apr;15(4):335-43. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2015.12.006. Epub 2015 Dec 23.


Vitiligo is a common chronic acquired disease of pigmentation whose etiology is unknown, which usually occurs with asymptomatic whitish patch or macule. Although several hypotheses have been proposed in the literature, the leading theory is still the auto-immune etiology linked to specific genetic mutations. Vitiligo can also be associated with several autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune thyroid diseases, alopecia areata, and halo nevi. Sensorineural hearing loss was reported in several vitiligo patients due to a reduction in the number of melanocytes contained in the membranous labyrinth of the inner ear. Because of its complexity, several therapeutic options are available to treat this systemic disease.

Keywords: Autoimmune diseases; Hearing loss; NB-UVB; Oxidative stress; Prednisolone; Vitiligo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Hearing Disorders
  • Humans
  • Melanocytes / pathology
  • Vitiligo / diagnosis
  • Vitiligo / immunology*
  • Vitiligo / pathology
  • Vitiligo / therapy