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Exploring Remission Dynamics and Prognostic Factors in Lichen Planopilaris: a Retrospective Cohort Study.

INTRODUCTION: Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is a common type of primary cicatricial alopecia. Previous studies focused on the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and treatment of LPP. A lack of knowledge regarding LPP outcomes and prognostic factors remained.

METHODS: To delineate the rate and timing of remission in LPP, as well as the prognostic factors for achieving remission, a retrospective cohort study was conducted. The study included 126 patients, from a single tertiary center, diagnosed with LPP between January 2010 and December 2022, who were followed up for a minimum of 6 months.

RESULTS: There were 89 (70.6%) women and 37 (29.4 %) men included in this study. The mean age of the patients was 47.92±14.2 years. The mean time from disease onset to diagnosis was 33.85 (±30) months, indicating significant diagnostic delays. The mean duration of follow-up was 34.13±22.7 months. Among the cohort, 43 patients achieved complete remission (CR) during the follow-up period, whereas 83 patients did not. Of the 83 patients who did not achieve CR, 35 partially improved and 48 did not improve or worsened. The median time for achieving CR was 46±18.8 months. Milder disease at presentation and comorbid lichen planus were associated with higher CR rates.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates significant diagnostic delays that should be addressed as LPP causes irreversible alopecia, suggests disease severity and comorbid lichen planus as potential prognostic factors. Further, it emphasizes the limited efficacy of current treatments and the need for prolonged treatment in patients with LPP to achieve remission.

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