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Article
May 3, 1941

ALOPECIA AREATA: AN APPRAISAL OF ENDOCRINE FACTORS IN ITS CAUSATION

Author Affiliations

Fellow in Dermatology and Syphilology, Mayo Foundation; ROCHESTER, MINN.
From the Division of Medicine (Dr. Kepler), Mayo Clinic.

JAMA. 1941;116(18):2004-2006. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820180010003
Abstract

Changes in growth and distribution of hair occur frequently among patients who are afflicted with diseases of the endocrine organs. Probably for this reason it has almost become accepted practice for physicians to assume that the cause of alopecia areata can often be found in the endocrine system. It is further supposed that effective therapeutic results could be achieved if the offending gland were identified and appropriate endocrine treatment instituted. To test the validity of these assumptions this study was undertaken.

We reasoned that if the foregoing premises were correct there would be a high incidence of unmistakable endocrine diseases in a series of cases of alopecia areata. Furthermore, if glandular abnormalities were responsible for the alopecia, the evidence of disturbed endocrine function would be most marked in the severest cases, that is, the cases of so-called malignant or universal alopecia, in which not only most of the scalp hairs

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