Thursday, September 11

Short anagen syndrome

Short anagen hair syndrome.

What is short anagen hair syndrome?

Short anagen syndrome (SAS) is a disorder of the hair growth cycle.
The anagen growth phase of scalp hair normally lasts between 2-7 years and is genetically determined. Long growth phase contributes to long strands of hair. SAS is a recently reported, under-recognized, congenital condition wherein the scalp hair does not grow long due to abnormally short anagen phase.

Short anagen syndrome is clinically characterized by short fine hair since birth, poor hair growth and excessive shedding. The affected child does not require a hair-cut. Most of the cases are reported in Caucasian blond-haired girls. It is quite possible that the condition may be equally present in boys and go unnoticed due to their hair styles. Normally the condition is associated neither with systemic diseases nor with dermal conditions.

Cause of short anagen syndrome

The cause of SAS is shortened hair growth phase. The condition appears idiopathic. However as familial cases have been reported, it may be caused by autosomal dominant inheritance.

Symptoms
Reduced scalp hair growth, sparse hair, increased shedding, increase in telogen hair, decrease in ratio of anagen to telogen hair in hair pull test are some of the common symptoms.
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These symptoms are prominent in the childhood and appear to fade after puberty. The affected children have normal physical and mental development.

Diagnosis
Hair pull test helps in the diagnosis of this condition. In a normal individual, ratio of anagen to telogen hair is 9:1.
In SAS, the ratio is altered and more number of telogen phase hairs get pulled out. In SAS, the hair shaft is healthy and does not break easily. Microscopic examination reveal that the hair shaft has pointed end indicating that it was not cut. This congenital condition has to be differentiated from loose hair condition. In the loose hair syndrome, loose, unruly, fuzzy hairs are present. Both the conditions are absent in SAS. Short anagen condition has to be differentiated from other conditions causing diminutive scalp hair like, trichodental syndrome and congenital .

Treatment options
There is no standard treatment option available. In some cases the condition appears to normalize during puberty. In some adults the condition was found to persist.
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Topical minoxidil is effective in stimulating the telogen hair follicles to enter into anagen phase. It is also found to prolong the growth phase. The use of topical minoxidil or cyclosporine is found to be effective in some cases. Persisting short anagen syndrome in adults can be traumatic and psychosocially devastating.

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Reference:
1.Ingrid Herskovitz, Isabel Cristina Valente Duarte de Sousa, Jessica Simon, Antonella Tosti. Short Anagen Hair Syndrome. Int J Trichology. 2013 Jan-Mar; 5(1): 45–46.
2.Niteen V Dhepe, Ashok S Naik. Short Anagen Syndrome in an Indian Woman with its Impact on Quality-of-Life. Int J Trichology. 2012 Oct-Dec; 4(4): 271–272.

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