Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia Severity Index: A Trichoscopic Visual Scale That Correlates Thickness of Peripilar Casts with Severity of Inflammatory Changes at Pathology

María Abril Martínez-Velasco, Norma Elizabeth Vázquez-Herrera, Cosimo Misciali, Colombina Vincenzi, Austin John Maddy, Daniel Asz-Sigall, Antonella Tosti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background: Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is a scarring alopecia that mainly affects postmenopausal women characterized by recession of the frontotemporal hairline and eyebrow loss. Current techniques to assess FFA activity are limited and involve noninvasive tools that assess disease progression or an invasive technique such as scalp biopsies. However, since progression of FFA is very slow, it is very important to develop a noninvasive technique to assess disease activity to monitor treatment response. Objectives: To provide a standardized and objective method to assess FFA activity. Methods: We evaluated the correlation between trichoscopy and pathological features (degree of lymphocytic infiltration) in 20 dermoscopy-guided biopsies of FFA. At trichoscopy, we divided the severity of peripilar casts into 3 grades according to their thickness. To validate the trichoscopic visual scale, we showed the images to 7 dermatologists with interest in hair diseases. Concordance was assessed using the Kendall Tau-b concordance test. Results: A strong correlation between severity of peripilar casts at trichoscopy and degree of lymphocytic infiltrate was observed by the Kendall Tau-b test. Validation showed very good inter-and intraobserver agreement. Conclusion: The trichoscopic visual scale allows noninvasive assessment of scalp inflammation in FFA in different scalp regions and therefore provides optimal guidance for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-280
Number of pages4
JournalSkin Appendage Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018



  • Frontal fibrosing alopecia progression
  • Lymphocytic infiltrate
  • Peripilar cast
  • Therapeutic monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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