Background: Vitiligo is an acquired condition resulting from the progressive loss of melanocytes. It may be associated with disorders of pigmented tissues of the eyes and ears, and with
disorders of the endocrine organs. Aim: To study the clinico-demographic profile of vitiligo patients
and its association with endocrine disorders and audiological and ocular abnormalities.
Materials and Methods: This was a case-control study conducted at a tertiary care hospital; 261 vitiligo patients were enrolled together with 100 age- and gender-matched healthy individuals without vitiligo as the controls. A detailed history and clinical examination, including audiological and ocular examination, was undertaken; blood investigations like random blood sugar, thyroid function tests, and serum cortisol levels were requested for all subjects.
Results: Vitiligo vulgaris was the most common type of disease detected in 146 (55.93%) patients, followed by focal vitiligo in59 (22.60%), mucosal vitiligo in 31 (11.87%), acrofacial vitiligo in 16 (6.13%), segmental vitiligo in 8 (3.06%), and universal vitiligo in one (0.38%) patient. Endocrine disorders were noted in 40 (15.32%) patients, which included hypothyroidism in 27, hyperthyroidism in 5, and diabetes in 8 patients. Sensorineural hypoacusis and
ocular abnormalities were noted in 56 (21.45%) and 49 (18.77%) vitiligo patients respectively. The association of hypothyroidism, sensorineural hypoacusis, and ocular abnormalities with vitiligo
was statistically significant.
Conclusion: Vitiligo is not limited to cutaneous melanocytes; it also affects pigment cells throughout the body. Patients with increased age, prolonged duration of disease, and greater body
surface area involvement are at increased risk for systemic associations. A thorough clinical evaluation seems necessary for all vitiligo patients.