International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-41

Light microscopy and polarized microscopy: A dermatological tool to diagnose gray hair syndromes

1 Department of Dermatology, Care Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Rainbow Children's Tertiary Care Centre, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Neurology, Rainbow Children's Tertiary Care Centre, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Lokesh Lingappa
Room No 405, 3rd Floor, A Block, Care Outpatient Center, Banjara Hills, Road No 10, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_21_16

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Gray hair syndromes are rare syndromes which have an autosomal recessive inheritance and are characterized by pigmentary dilution of skin and hair, defects in immunological function, and nervous system defects. They comprise three disorders namely Chediak–Higashi syndrome (CHS), Griscelli syndrome (GPS), and Elejalde syndrome. Clinically, it is difficult to distinguish these disorders as their clinical features may overlap. Hence, to make a correct diagnosis and differentiate between CHS and GPS light microscopic examination of skin and hair shafts as well as peripheral blood smear evaluations should be done. In cases where the diagnosis is not possible chromosomal analysis for specific mutations can be done. In resource-poor settings where chromosomal analysis is not possible, and light microscopy findings are inconclusive, polarized microscopy can serve as a useful tool to distinguish between CHS and GPS. We report three cases with gray hair syndromes where the diagnosis on light microscopy and polarized microscopy of hair shaft correlated with the bone marrow examination findings and chromosomal analysis, thus emphasizing the importance of a noninvasive, cost-effective, and time-saving alternative in the diagnosis of these syndromes.

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