The Alopecia Areata Consensus of Experts (ACE) study: Results of an international expert opinion on treatments for alopecia areata.

Background: A systematic review failed to identify any systemic therapy used in alopecia areata (AA) where use is supported by robust evidence from high-quality randomized controlled trials.

Objective: To produce an international consensus statement on the use and utility of various treatments for AA.

Methods: Fifty hair experts from 5 continents were invited to participate in a 3-round Delphi process. Agreement of 66% or greater was considered consensus.

Results: In the first round, consensus was achieved in 22 of 423 (5%) questions. After a face-to-face meeting in round 3, overall, consensus was achieved for only 130 (33%) treatment-specific questions. There was greater consensus for intralesional treatment of AA (19 [68%]) followed by topical treatment (25 [43%]). Consensus was achieved in 45 (36%) questions pertaining to systemic therapies in AA. The categories with the least consensus were phototherapy and nonprescription therapies.

Limitations: The study included a comprehensive list of systemic treatments for AA but not all treatments used.

Conclusion: Despite divergent opinions among experts, consensus was achieved on a number of pertinent questions. The concluding statement also highlights areas where expert consensus is lacking and where an international patient registry could enable further research.