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Biopsy... TE or Androgenetic Alopecia?

Discussion in 'The Undiagnosed' started by mmacbride301, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. mmacbride301

    mmacbride301 Member

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    Just now getting a final go ahead on getting my biopsy.... Super excited to get it done so that maybe I can have an answer but at the same time... Really really nervous and anxious about what the outcome will be. How many people have had good outcomes with their biopsies? And by "good" I mean... How accurate did they seem to end up being? Since I don't have insurance yet I will have to wait to get labs done.

    Grateful for all feedback
     
  2. fleur1979

    fleur1979 Experienced Member

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    In my 5 years of hair loss, I had three biobsies done (they took 2 small biopties each time).
    The first one came inconclusive. No signs of anything wrong. Could be nothing, could be anything. (my hair loss just started, and I believe they didn't do the biobsies in the areas where my hair loss was really bad). Make sure they take an area that is hit hard with hair loss.

    The second one came back Telogen effluvium. No signs of Androgenetic Alopecia at all. I really expected at least some Androgenetic Alopecia going on, but the hair was in normal thickness, no miniaturizing, and a lot in telogen and catagen phase.

    Then why a third biobsy? My hair loss got really bad in the third year. White patches appeared. My derm thought maybe some scarring alopecia going on (me too). Again it came back as TE.

    I really learned that it can be a different outcome than you think. My hair is sometimes bad and sometimes a bit better. The first three years it was only bad. Getting my ferritin up, and eating more vegetabels maybe helped. But you never know.

    I will Always be frigthend my hair will be very bad again, but there is Always hope.

    PS; sorry, my English is not very good.
     
  3. mmacbride301

    mmacbride301 Member

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    So had your hair been falling out for 5 years straight?
     
  4. fleur1979

    fleur1979 Experienced Member

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    first three and half years, around 300 hairs a day. I did get regrowth all the time, but regrowth could not keep up with the loss. Before the hair loss I only lost around 20 to 30 a day. The past 1,5 years I have periods that my hair loss is only around 30, and periods of around 250 hairs a day. Yes I counted the hairs in the past. So, things are getting a bit better better now that my ferritin is around 80 (started with a ferritin of 7)
     
  5. mmacbride301

    mmacbride301 Member

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    Did you ever have scalp pain or burning?
     
  6. eggplant

    eggplant Established Member

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    First let me just state that I think getting a biopsy is a good idea since it's another data point to work with.

    That being said if you want an honest answer about accuracy ... I kinda get the impression that they aren't 100% reliable *depending on the particular condition*. Mine came back TE but I strongly suspect that I have Androgenetic Alopecia based on the fact that my hair loss has continued for years and has an Androgenetic Alopecia pattern of loss. I've also attempted to read up on scalp biopsies (which has been limited mainly to excerpts in google books) and there does seem to be some difficulty distinguishing *some* things from each other. They also sometimes meant to be used in conjunction with clinical observations an not necessarily by themselves.

    That being said take what I'm saying as anecdotal and in no way expertise. I don't want to discourage your decision to get the biopsy or doubt the results before you even get them.

    Fwiw, here are some of the links I saved when I was trying to research scalp biopsies (I seriously have considered just buying one of the medical books myself!):

    https://books.google.com/books?id=l...#v=onepage&q=biopsy telogen effluvium&f=false

    https://books.google.com/books?id=Q...=pathology biopsy androgenic alopecia&f=false

    https://books.google.com/books?id=N...#v=onepage&q=biopsy telogen effluvium&f=false
     
    #6 eggplant, Aug 26, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016

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