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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 37

of 'Androgenetic alopecia in men: Pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis'

Possible mechanisms of miniaturization during androgenetic alopecia or pattern hair loss.
Whiting DA
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Sep;45(3 Suppl):S81-6.
In androgenetic alopecia, or pattern hair loss, follicles undergo miniaturization, shrinking from terminal to vellus-like hairs. Traditionally, this process is thought to progress gradually over a number of follicular cycles. However, it is unlikely that miniaturization can be explained only by a series of progressively shorter anagen cycles. Simple calculations show that this process would take too long for significant miniaturization to occur secondary to shorter anagen cycles alone, especially in view of the latent lag period seen in pattern hair loss that occurs between the loss of a telogen hair and the appearance of an anagen hair. Evidence is presented to support a new concept that miniaturization is an abrupt, large-step process that also can be reversed in 1 hair cycle, as has been shown clinically, with confirmatory histologic evidence, in patients with pattern hair loss responding to finasteride treatment. It is hypothesized that the miniaturization seen with pattern hair loss may be the direct result of reduction in the cell number and, hence, size of the dermal papilla.
Baylor Hair Research and Treatment Center, Dallas, TX 75246, USA. daddoc@dallasassocderm.com