Journal: Survey Of Ophthalmology, Volume 47 Suppl 1, Aug 2002
Latanoprost, used clinically in the treatment of glaucoma, induces growth of lashes and ancillary hairs around the eyelids. Manifestations include greater thickness and length of lashes, additional lash rows, conversion of vellus to terminal hairs in canthal areas as well as in regions adjacent to lash rows. In conjunction with increased growth, increased pigmentation occurs. Vellus hairs of the lower eyelids also undergo increased growth and pigmentation. Brief latanoprost therapy for 2-17 days (3-25.5 microg total dosage) induced findings comparable to chronic therapy in five patients. Latanoprost reversed alopecia of the eyelashes in one patient. Laboratory experiments with latanoprost have demonstrated stimulation of hair growth in mice and in the balding scalp of the stumptailed macaque, a primate that demonstrates androgenetic alopecia. The increased number of visible lashes is consistent with the ability of latanoprost to induce anagen (the growth phase) in telogen (resting) follicles while inducing hypertrophic changes in the involved follicles. The increased length of lashes is consistent with the ability of latanoprost to prolong the anagen phase of the hair cycle. Correlation with laboratory studies suggests that initiation and completion of latanoprost hair growth effects occur very early in anagen and the likely target is the dermal papilla.