To the Editor.
—Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, we found evidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA in paraffin-block sections of lesions of alopecia areata.Our interest in this association was first aroused by a 15-year-old male patient who developed sore throat, arthralgias, fever, chills, and diffuse lymphadenopathy. Evaluation by several other physicians had failed to uncover a cause. Tests for mononucleosis, among others, were negative. Hedeveloped widespread alopecia areata with loss of most of the hair on his scalp and body. His symptoms suggested CMV infection; a convalescent serum IgG by enzyme immunoassay titer to CMV was 1.30, with normal being less than 0.25. Because of this case, we instituted further studies.Twenty-one of 35 alopecia areata patients had similarly elevated antibody titers. Results of in situ hybridization tests on paraffin-block biopsy specimens of 10 patients with alopecia areata were all negative.Specimens for PCR study were chosen from
Skinner RB, Light WH, Bale GF, Rosenberg EW, Leonardi C. Alopecia Areata and Presence of Cytomegalovirus DNA. JAMA. 1995;273(18):1419-1420. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520420031025