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Cryotherapy Versus Steroids In Alopecia Areata:Trichoscopic Evaluation

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03473600
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified March 2018 by Noura Ali, Assiut University.
Recruitment status was:  Not yet recruiting
First Posted : March 22, 2018
Last Update Posted : March 22, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Noura Ali, Assiut University

Tracking Information
First Submitted Date  ICMJE March 15, 2018
First Posted Date  ICMJE March 22, 2018
Last Update Posted Date March 22, 2018
Estimated Study Start Date  ICMJE November 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date July 2019   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Current Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: March 21, 2018)
The incidence of patietns with hair regrowth [ Time Frame: 3 months ]
measuring severity of alopecia tool score and dermoscopic examination
Original Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Same as current
Change History No Changes Posted
Current Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Not Provided
Original Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Not Provided
Current Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Original Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Descriptive Information
Brief Title  ICMJE Cryotherapy Versus Steroids In Alopecia Areata:Trichoscopic Evaluation
Official Title  ICMJE Cryotherapy Versus Intralesional Corticosteroid Injection In Treatment Of Alopecia Areata: Trichoscopic Evaluation
Brief Summary

Alopecia areata is the most frequent cause of inflammation-induced hair loss with prevalence from 0.1 to 0.2%. It has no age nor sex predilection .

Clinically, alopecia areata presents as a well-circumscribed patch of sudden hair loss. It affects any hair bearing area. The most common affected site is the scalp. Based on site and extent, AA can be classified into; diffuse, multi-locularis, mono-locularis, totalis, universalis, and ophiasis.

Detailed Description

Histologically, lesional biopsies of alopecia areata demonstrate a peri_follicullare and intra_folliculare mononuclear cell infiltrate around anagen phase hair follicles .The infiltrate consists mostly of activated lymphocytes in particular CD4 cells as well as dendritic cells and macrophages.

Many theories were implicated in pathogenesis of alopecia areata such as; autoimmune lymphocytic attack of the hair, genetic basis and environmental factors. So the pathogenesis of alopecia areata remains to be determined. Currently a widely accepted theory is the autoimmune etiology. Specific T_cell lymphocytes, autoantibodies against anagen follicles, and various cytokines such as interferon-γ, interleukins, and tumor necrosis factor-α have been found to play a major role in alopecia areata. In addition, the immune privilege theory has been recently introduced and suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis.

Many kinds of treatment modalities are present in localized alopecia areata. Injectable forms of corticosteroids are first line of alopecia areata therapy, and also topical use of steroids is widely used. Others are topical sensitization with anthrain, minoxidil and cryotherapy. In extention form of alopecia areata, systemic treatments like corticosteroids, cyclosporine and methotrexate can be used.

Intralesional Corticosteroid injection:

National Guidelines from British Association of Dermatologists, recommend intralesional corticosteroid therapy as the first line treatment for localized patchy alopecia areata, with approximate success rates of 60-75%. Their use was first described in 1958, with the use of hydrocortisone.

Immunosuppression is the main mechanism of action. Corticosteroids suppress the T-cell-mediated immune attack on the hair follicle. Steroids with low solubility are preferred for their slow absorption from the injection site, promoting maximum local action with minimal systemic effect. The efficacy of intralesional corticosteroid injection is variable depending on the patient population treated.


Cryotherapy may act through either singly or by a combination of the following mechanisms resulting in hair regrowth in alopecia areata. After initial vasoconstriction with cryotherapy, there is a significant local vasodilatation during the thaw period as the temperature reaches zero degree Celsius. Thus, cryotherapy is speculated to dilate the vessels around the affected hair follicles, with an increase in the blood flow leading to follicular hair regrowth. Moreover, local edema and inflammation occurring after cryotherapy may play a role in inducing vasodilation.

Cryotherapy is also speculated to inflict partial damage to keratinocytes, especially the antigenic components of the hair follicle keratin16 and trichohyalin, which are targeted by antibodies and thus, further decrease in damaging perifollicular infiltrate.

Cryotherapy may also alter tissue Langerhans cells, which in turn could alter the process of antigen presentation with further decrease in T cell infiltration. As it is known, the white hairs are spared in alopecia areata; it is hypothesized that melanocytes may have a role in the pathogenesis ofalopecia areata. Hence, cryotherapy may also act by destructing the melanocytes further preventing their role in the initiation of alopecia areata.


Dermoscopy is now considered as a valuable tool in diagnosis of variable skin lesions. It is a non-invasive procedure which was initially used to assess pigmented lesions.

Scalp dermoscopy (Trichoscopy) does not only facilitate diagnosis of hair disorders but also give clues about disease stage and progression. Trichoscopy allows the superimposition of the skin layers with the possibility to observe any surface or deep skin layers.

The most common trichoscopic features of alopecia areata are yellow dots, micro-exclamation mark hairs, tapered hairs, black dots, broken hairs, and regrowing upright or regrowing coiled hairs. Black dots as remnants of exclamation mark hairs or broken hairs provide a sensitive marker for disease activity as well as severity of alopecia areata. Yellow dots, are considered to be the most sensitive dermoscopic feature of alopecia areata. Tapering hair is considered as a marker of disease activity and known to reflect exacerbation of disease. Trichoscopic characteristics have a clinical significance in alopecia areata for diagnosis and prognosis.

Severity of alopecia tool Score:

National Alopecia Areata Foundation working committee has devised "Severity of Alopecia Tool score. Severity of alopecia tool score is useful to find out the quantitative assessment of scalp hair loss.

Study Type  ICMJE Interventional
Study Phase  ICMJE Phase 4
Study Design  ICMJE Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Condition  ICMJE Alopecia Areata
Intervention  ICMJE
  • Procedure: Cryotherapy
    Liquid Nitrogen spray
  • Drug: Triamcinolone acetonide injection
    Intralesional Triamcinolone Acetonide injection
Study Arms  ICMJE
  • Experimental: study group
    •The first group (20 patients) will be treated with cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen spray, two cycles each one 3-5 seconds, one session every two weeks, for three months.
    Intervention: Procedure: Cryotherapy
  • Active Comparator: control group
    •The second group (20 patients) will be treated with intralesional injection of 4mg/ml/ session of triamcinolone-acetonide, it will be injected into deep dermis or upper subcutaneous tissue using a 0.5-inch long 30-gauge needle at multiple sites, 1 cm apart and 0.1 ml into each site, once every three weeks, for three months, using insulin syringes.
    Intervention: Drug: Triamcinolone acetonide injection
Publications *

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Recruitment Information
Recruitment Status  ICMJE Unknown status
Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: March 21, 2018)
Original Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE Same as current
Estimated Study Completion Date  ICMJE September 2019
Estimated Primary Completion Date July 2019   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Eligibility Criteria  ICMJE

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age >12 years.
  • Both sexes will be included.
  • Newly diagnosed cases.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Children < 12 years.
  • Pregnancy and lactation.
  • Patients with active scalp infection.
  • Patients with cold sensitivity (regarding the first group).
  • Any newly onset medical systemic illness.
Sex/Gender  ICMJE
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Ages  ICMJE 12 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Accepts Healthy Volunteers  ICMJE No
Contacts  ICMJE Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Listed Location Countries  ICMJE Egypt
Removed Location Countries  
Administrative Information
NCT Number  ICMJE NCT03473600
Other Study ID Numbers  ICMJE CVILCsAA
Has Data Monitoring Committee Not Provided
U.S. FDA-regulated Product
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
IPD Sharing Statement  ICMJE
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided
Responsible Party Noura Ali, Assiut University
Study Sponsor  ICMJE Assiut University
Collaborators  ICMJE Not Provided
Investigators  ICMJE Not Provided
PRS Account Assiut University
Verification Date March 2018

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP