What is the role of biopsy in the workup of androgenetic alopecia?

Updated: Feb 12, 2018
  • Author: Robert P Feinstein, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

A biopsy is rarely necessary to make the diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia. If a single biopsy specimen is obtained, it should generally be sectioned transversely if pattern alopecia is suspected. Some dermatopathologists recommend that if a biopsy is to be performed, a sample should be obtained from 2 sites: one for horizontal sectioning and one for vertical sectioning of the hair follicles. Other dermatopathologists point out that one may commonly obtain sufficient information from serial vertical sections to diagnose the condition.


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