Br J Dermatol. 2008 May;158(5):1121-4
Value of hormonal levels in patients with male androgenetic alopecia treated with finasteride: better response in patients under 26 years old.
Finasteride is a 5alpha-reductase inhibitor that has proved to be an effective treatment for men with androgenetic alopecia.
To investigate the hormonal influence of finasteride 1 mg daily on hormonal levels and hair growth in men of different ages and with different degrees of alopecia according to the Hamilton-Norwood scale.
Two hundred and seventy men aged 14-58 years with male androgenetic alopecia III-VI Hamilton-Norwood score (II-III Ebling score) were treated with finasteride 1 mg daily. Steroid hormone (free testosterone, 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate, delta4-androstenedione, 17-hydroxyprogesterone), prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and sebum levels, and trichogram changes were determined at baseline, and at 6 and 12 months of treatment.
According to significant hormonal statistical analysis, the patients were divided by age (up to or over 26 years). In the group of patients </= 26 years, higher levels of 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone were found at the beginning of the treatment, but there was a 50% decrease between the onset of treatment and month 12, particularly noticeable at 6 months (P < 0.05) of treatment, running parallel to an improvement of the alopecia and an increase of anagen hairs in the trichogram. At 1 year, PSA levels decreased 20%, particularly in patients > 26 years. No variations in sebum levels were observed.
High levels of 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone in patients </= 26 years at the beginning of treatment are a predictive factor of good response to treatment with finasteride 1 mg daily.