Medical experts use common set of criteria to diagnose disease.
Jolien Duponselle, MD, PhD candidate at Ghent University, Belgium, discussed clinical items used by doctors to diagnose vitiligo in patients, and manage their symptoms, at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (EADV) Congress 2022 in Milan, Italy.
Vitiligo affects around 1% of the world’s population and is under active investigation for novel treatments. Dusponselle stated this presentation was part of a larger project called, “Vitiligo International Task Force for an Agreed List of Core Data.”1
Vitiligo falls under the category of autoimmune disorders, and usually begins with a few small lighter patches that develop on the skin. These patches may stay the same size for years or grow larger. Some of the data collected as part of this project suggest 50% of patients receive a vitiligo diagnosis before the age of 20; and at least 20% have at least 1 other biological family member with the disease.2
Duponselle said she sought information from 31 experts in the field from diverse cultures, with different treatment approaches. The largest number of professionals surveyed were from the United States and Europe. She found that 95% of those experts used the same set of criteria to obtain a baseline from the patient; gender, age, age of disease onset, personal history of thyroid disease, presence of additional medical conditions, family history of vitiligo, clinical exams, lesion location, extent of discoloration, trigger factors and previous treatments.
Duponselle said vitiligo can be hard to diagnose, because the disease can present as other skin conditions. She will revisit these criteria in the future to determine the best ways to diagnose and assess vitiligo.