Clinico-mycological profile of tinea capitis and its comparative response to griseofulvin versus terbinafine

  • Ali Mikaeili
  • Hossein Kavoussi
  • Amir Hosein Hashemian
  • Mahdokht Shabandoost Gheshtemi
  • Reza Kavoussi
Keywords: Dermatophyte, Ectothrix, Endothrix, Griseofulvin, Terbinafine, Tinea capitis


Background and Purpose: Tinea capitis is the most common superficial mycosis in
children. This disease is a contagious infection with worldwide distribution and is
occasionally associated with permanent alopecia. The treatment of this infection
usually requires the administration of appropriate oral antifungal agents. The current
study was conducted to evaluate the clinico-mycological profile of tinea capitis and
compare the efficiency of oral griseofulvin and terbinafine in the treatment of this
Materials and Methods: This study was conducted on 69 patients, including 23
females (33.3%) and 46 males (66.7%), clinically suspected of tinea capitis. After the
confirmation of tinea capitis diagnosis through direct examination, the subjects were
randomly assigned into two groups of griseofulvin and terbinafine. Demographic data,
clinical and mycological characteristics, and therapeutic outcome were recorded for
both groups.
Results: According to the results, tinea capitis was more common in children younger
than 15 years (73.9%), athletes (37.7%), and males (66.7%), and those with frontal
involvement (34.8%), non-inflammatory type (68.1%), endothrix (69.6%), and
Trichophyton tonsurans species (41.7%). The griseofulvin and terbinafine groups had
the treatment success rates of 90.9% and 80.6%, respectively (P=0.311). The
griseofulvin group had a shorter therapeutic course than the terbinafine group
Conclusion: Although our findings demonstrated that both griseofulvin and terbinafine
were effective in the treatment of tinea capitis, griseofulvin showed a little higher
efficacy in this regard. Consideration of some variables, such as age, associated risk
factors, clinical type, hair involvement pattern, and dominant pathogenic species, is
important in the determination of the drugs.