International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 172-174

Scanning electron microscopy of the inner and outer aspects of tiger tail hairs

1 Catholic University of Pelotas, Post-Graduation Program in Health; Dermatology League, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil
2 Catholic University of Pelotas, Post-Graduation Program in Health, Pelotas, Brazil
3 Dermatology League, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil
4 Electron Microscopy Laboratory, EMBRAPA-CPA-CT, Pelotas, Brazil
5 Electron Microscopy Center, Fundação University of Rio Grande, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Hiram Larangeira de Almeida
Rua Gonçalves Chaves 373, Pelotas
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_63_20

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Background: Tiger tail hairs, Morse hairs or pili annulati is a nonsyndromic hair shaft disorder, characterized by alternating light and dark bands along the hair shaft. Methods: The outer surface and the inner structure of longitudinally cut tiger tail hairs were examined with scanning electron microscopy. Results: Hair specimens of five affected individuals showed small surface undulations with “curtain-like” folding of the hair cuticula (microcanaliculi). In the inner surface cord-like linear structures with serpiginous, tortuous traject were seen, associated with some cavities. Conclusions: These findings suggest that this condition is due to some deficient protein synthesis/arrangement, not only due to cavities in the hair cortex. The term Tiger tail hair is a descriptive clinical term of little scientific rigor. This disorder has been reported mainly as pili annulati; however, rings are not observed. In analogy to pili canaliculi, in which well-formed grooving is observed in the hair surface, we suggest the term pili microcanaliculi to describe this condition, based in the ultrastructural findings.

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