Alopecia Areata Treated With Efalizumab: A Case With Significant HairRe-Growth After Long-Term Therapy

August 2009 | Volume 8 | Issue 8 | Case Reports | 758 | Copyright © August 2009

Jeffrey R. Smith MPH, Russell S. Akin MD, Michael J. Wells MD

Abstract
Efaluzimab has recently been described as a treatment for alopecia areata. Conflicting reports and studies have spurred discussion as to whether efaluzimab is an effective treatment of alopecia areata. Proposed mechanisms for this immune-modifying agent have suggested that efficacy is derived from efaluzimab’s effects on T cells. However, a recent molecular study found no alteration in T cell action around hair follicles at six months of treatment and thus the study concluded that efaluzimab was not an effective treatment. This article describes a nine-year-old male with recalcitrant alopecia totalis for seven years who had been nonresponsive to therapeutic intervention. He was started on efaluzimab for severe atopic dermatitis and began to re-grow scalp hair at one year of treatment. This discussion suggests that longer treatment durations may be needed for treatment effects to be seen in some patients.