Ultra high-frequency ultrasound with seventy-MHz transducer in hair disorders: Development of a novel noninvasive diagnostic methodology

Misaki, Kinoshita-Ise, Manabu, Ohyama, Joel M., Ramjist, F. Stuart, Foster, Victor X.D., Yang, Muskaan, Sachdeva, Shachar, Sade, Neil H., Shear

Journal of Dermatological Science |

Background: Ultra high-frequency ultrasound (uHFUS) is a recently developed diagnostic technology. Despite its potential usefulness, no study has assessed its advantage in diagnosis and evaluation of hair disorders in comparison with other diagnostic methods. Objectives: To assess the practicability of uHFUS in diagnosing hair disorders and propose a diagnostic methodology. Methods: Ultrasonographic images of scalp and forehead from patients with hair disorders (n = 103) and healthy controls (n = 40) were obtained by uHFUS and analyzed by both descriptive and numerical parameters. Furthermore, the data were compared with trichoscopic and histopathological findings. Results: The pattern of inflammation and fibrosis, hair cycle abnormality, and the findings in subcutis were detected by uHFUS. Significant differences were noted in the numerical parameters associated with the number of hair shafts and follicles, hair diameters and their diversity, and dermal echogenicity in both cicatricial and non-cicatricial hair disorders. Findings in uHFUS were associated with those observed in trichoscopy and scalp biopsy but uHFUS was able to detect pathological findings associated with hair cycle, inflammation, fibrosis, and subcutaneous abnormalities, which are hardly assessable by trichoscopy. Conclusion: The findings of this study highlighted usefulness of uHFUS in diagnosing hair disorders, while overcoming the weaknesses and limitations of other diagnostic tools.