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August 1989

The Ridgeback Anomaly

Author Affiliations

Departments of Dermatology and Pediatrics University of California at San Francisco San Francisco, CA 94143-0318

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(8):1144. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670200120022

To the Editor.—  I read with interest the report by Samlaska et al1 in the January issue of the Archives, describing a patient with a novel pattern of scalp hair growth. I found the description fascinating and the discussion informative, but wish to offer two comments. The first (and admittedly this is a matter of opinion or philosophy) is to question the wisdom of the name chosen, the ridgeback anomaly. While the analogy to the Rhodesian ridgeback dog may be apt, it can also have derogatory connotations to patients and their families. As physicians, we should not add the burden of the name to the burden of the disease. Second, I would take issue with the authors' statement that "genetic causes can be excluded in this patient, based on history." First, we are not told whether the hair patterns described as normal in the parents, one sibling, three offspring,