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Direct immunofluorescence on hair follicles--present and future perspectives.

Direct immunofluorescence (DIF) is an important tool for evaluating bullous autoimmune and connective tissue disorders. We report 21 cases of pemphigus vulgaris, bullous pemphigoid and lupus erythematosus that were investigated by performing DIF on scalp hair follicles. The study was done using a simplified technique of preparing the hairs for DIF testing. The anagen hairs tested positive in pemphigus vulgaris patients while the telogen hairs were negative. In bullous pemphigoid and lupus erythematosus cases hair DIF presented negative results.Hair DIF has the potential of taking the place of skin or mucosal DIF in pemphigus patients if performed on anagen hair follicles. The technique used to perform hair DIF is important in obtaining reliable results and eliminating the possibility of generating false-negative testing. Larger studies are needed in order to validate this method.

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