Shedding Low Yield Testing for Telogen Effluvium: A Cross-Sectional Study of Laboratory Results from Newly Diagnosed Patients

    Rhiannon C. Miller, Sajjad Abedian, Shari R. Lipner
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    TLDR Most lab tests for patients with Telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss, show no or mild abnormalities; only a few specific tests are useful.
    The study examined 16,381 lab results from 1,342 newly diagnosed Telogen effluvium (TE) patients, a common hair loss condition, with an average age of 45.1 years and 92.7% being female. It was found that 81.7% of these patients had no or only mild abnormalities in their lab results. Abnormalities ranged from 2.5% (sodium) to 44% (ANA), with most being mild (72.7%). The study concluded that broad laboratory panels often show no or mild abnormalities in TE patients. Therefore, it suggests that only hemoglobin, ferritin, iron, iron saturation, and TSH tests are most useful in evaluating TE. It also recommends deferring lab testing for TE if there's a clear triggering event, and only ordering the aforementioned tests if there's no known trigger.
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