Indexed on: 18 Mar '11Published on: 18 Mar '11Published in: British Journal of Dermatology
Although mixed forms have been described recently, segmental (SV) and nonsegmental vitiligo (NSV) are considered as clinically distinct. However, limited epidemiological data are available to help distinguish associated factors, and recent genome-wide association studies have been restricted to NSV. The higher prevalence of SV in children is helpful when comparing the two major presentations of the disease.To compare factors associated with SV and NSV, especially for markers of autoimmunity or autoinflammation.We conducted a single-centre prospective observational study in patients aged 17 years or under with a confirmed diagnosis of SV or NSV at the vitiligo clinic between 1 January 2006 and 1 July 2010. The Vitiligo European Task Force questionnaire was completed for each patient, and thyroid function and antithyroid antibodies were screened if not obtained in the previous year. Other forms of vitiligo (focal, mucosal, not classifiable) were excluded.A total of 213 children were included, 142 with NSV, 59 with SV and 12 with mixed vitiligo. There was no significant statistical difference for sex or age at onset between patients with SV and NSV. Halo naevi were significantly more frequent in NSV than in SV [odds ratio (OR) 7·58, P < 0·01). Patients with NSV more frequently had a positive family history of vitiligo (OR 2·25, P=0·02) and a marked familial autoimmunity background (OR 2·22, P = 0·01).Our study clearly shows that features of inflammation (pruritus)/autoimmunity (halo naevi, thyroid antibodies) are strongly linked to NSV, together with a familial background of vitiligo and autoimmunity.