Yearly Archives: 2012

BACKGROUND:

Rosacea is a common dermatosis that can involve the bald area of the scalp. We report the case of a man presenting clinical symptoms of rosacea of the forehead and the scalp, but with a histological picture of familial chronic benign pemphigus.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A 47-year-old man with a history of Hailey-Hailey disease had been presenting facial dermatosis for 5 years. The clinical features were erythema with pustules and scales located on the mid-forehead and the androgenic bald area of the frontal scalp. The histological aspect of the skin biopsy showed suprabasilar clefting and ancantholysis at all levels of the epidermis and sparse perivascular infiltrate. Direct immunofluorescence was negative. These findings were typical of Hailey-Hailey disease. Based on clinical findings, and without taking account of the skin biopsy results, treatment with doxycycline and a topical antifungal was administered for 3 months, leading to remission of symptoms.

DISCUSSION:

The site of rosacea on the bald area of the scalp in males is described in the literature, and when present, is probably enhanced by exposure to UV radiation. In this patient, the histological features were interpreted as histopathologically equivalent to Köbner phenomenon.

full article available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23122375?dopt=Abstract

The clinical and epidemiological features of pemphigus vulgaris (PV) are well documented but there remain few reports of oesophageal involvement of PV. Although previously considered to be rare, recent reports have suggested that up to 87% of patients with PV may have symptoms, or endoscopic features, of oesophageal disease that may be poorly responsive to conventional corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppression.

The present report details the clinical and immunological features of a 53 year old Asian female who developed symptoms and signs of oesophageal PV during therapy with azathioprine and decreasing prednisolone dosage. Oesophageal involvement occurred during stable oral disease.

Oesophageal involvement can occur without significant oro-cutaneous lesions and immunological evidence of PV. This suggests that immunological targets for oesophageal disease may differ from those of other mucocutaneous areas, and that conventional first-line systemic therapy may not be effective for oesophageal lesions.

Full article available at: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ubpl/wlmj/2012/00000004/00000002/art00001

A 14-year-old male presented with seven years history of recurrent episodes of fluid filled, itchy and eroded lesions over the body not responding to oral corticosteroids and azathioprine. Dermatological examination revealed crusted plaques and erosions in a seborrheic distribution. Histopathology of skin lesions and direct immunofluorescence were characteristic of pemphigus foliaceus. He was treated with dexamethasone pulse therapy with inadequate response. However, relapsing skin lesions revealed a circinate arrangement with a predilection to trunk and flexures. In view of clinical features suggestive of IgA pemphigus, he was started on dapsone, to which he responded dramatically in four weeks. However, repeat biopsy continued to reveal features of pemphigus foliaceus and ELISA for anti- desmoglein 1 antibodies was positive.

Background

Inherent to some immunobullous disorders is potential for intraepidermal or dermal–epidermal junction fragility, a phenomenon that may compromise biopsy specimen integrity and direct immunofluorescence (DIF) interpretation. In these situations, cutaneous adnexal structures (e.g. hair follicles, sweat apparatus) usually remain intact. Whether periadnexal DIF findings are reliable in diagnosing immunobullous conditions is unknown.

Methods

We evaluated 56 cutaneous specimens with diagnostic immunoglobulin (Ig) deposition patterns that contained adnexal structures. In a corollary study, we examined 145 hematoxylin-eosin-stained frozen specimens to determine biopsy factors associated with the presence of adnexal structures.

Results

Periadnexal DIF findings offered diagnostic sensitivity in conditions with linear or cell-surface Ig deposition or lupus band. Periadnexal DIF findings were unreliable in dermatitis herpetiformis. Biopsy specimens from scalp and genitalia were most likely to contain folliculosebaceous units and sweat duct apparatus, respectively. Relative depth of biopsy correlated directly with the likelihood of identifying sweat duct apparatus but not folliculosebaceous units.

Conclusions

Periadnexal DIF findings may add diagnostic sensitivity in DIF evaluation of pemphigoid, pemphigus and lupus erythematosus. Pathologists can guide clinicians to biopsy certain anatomic sites and to obtain sufficient biopsy depth to increase the probability of capturing adnexal structures and, therefore, diagnostic yield from DIF specimens.

Full article available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cup.12037/abstract;jsessionid=3F2630588C1F530B2EA2A49E77F0D8D5.d02t01

Background.  Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) and pemphigus foliaceus (PF) are autoimmune vesicobullous disorders with IgG autoantibodies directed against desmoglein (Dsg)1 and 3, which lead to intraepidermal acantholysis.

Aim.  To characterize the clinical and immunological profile of patients with PF or PV with umbilical involvement.

Methods.  In total, 10 patients (7 women, 3 men; age range 24–70 years, disease duration 3–16 years) diagnosed with either PV (n = 5) or mucocutaneous PF (n = 5) were assessed according to their clinical features, histopathology and immunological findings .

Results.  Erythema, erosions, crusts and vegetating skin lesions were the main clinical features of the umbilical region. DIF of the umbilical region gave positive results for intercellular epidermal IgG and C3 deposits in eight patients and for IgG alone in the other two. Indirect immunofluorescence with IgG conjugate showing the typical pemphigus pattern was positive in all 10 patients, with titres varying from 1 : 160 to 1 : 2560. ELISA with recombinant Dsg1 gave scores of 24–266 in PF and 0–270 in PV. Reactivity to recombinant Dsg3 was positive in all five patients with PV (ELISA 22–98) and was negative in all PF sera.

Conclusions.  All 10 patients with pemphigus with umbilical presentation had the clinical and immunopathological features of either PF or PV. This peculiar presentation, not yet completely elucidated, has rarely been reported in the literature. A possible explanation for this unique presentation may be the presence of either novel epitopes or an association with embryonic or scar tissue located in the umbilical-cord region.

Full article available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2230.2012.04468.x/abstract

High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy is used in patients with severe autoimmune blistering diseases that are refractory to standard immunosuppressive therapy. To determine the efficacy and frequency of adverse events of IVIG therapy, we retrospectively analysed data for 16 patients with pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus foliaceus, paraneoplastic pemphigus, bullous pemphigoid and paraneoplastic bullous pemphigoid. Frequency of adverse reactions and efficacy of IVIG were analysed over time with a scoring system for every 6 months of IVIG therapy. Headache (43.8%) and fatigue (43.8%) were the most common side-effects recorded; serious adverse reactions did not occur. There was good overall efficacy, as measured by clinical response rates using a clinical score, as well as indicated by a mean reduction of 75.8% in the starting steroid dose.

Full article available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23073990?dopt=Abstract

Background  Hailey-Hailey disease (HHD) or familial benign chronic pemphigus is a rare autosomal dominant inherited skin disorder, characterized by flaccid vesicles and erosions on the intertriginous areas. Current treatments are not particularly effective. We report 6 cases dramatically improving with doxycycline.

Case reports  6 patients, aged from 33 to 77 years old, presented with a variable 4 to 40 year history of severe treatment-resistant HHD. All 6 patients were then treated successfully with doxycycline 100 mg per day for at least 3 months.

Discussion  An improvement was observed in all 6 patients from 1 week to 3 months after the beginning of treatment. Relapses were observed after various periods. Maintenance half-dose therapy seemed to be beneficial in patients experiencing recurrence. Only one patient developed gastro-intestinal intolerance. No other side effects were reported. Currently, 2 patients have improved and present a decreased number of exacerbations, 2 others are in complete remission after more than 5 years of follow-up. Treatment efficiency is difficult to evaluate in HHD as it is a rare condition. No controlled studies have been published. Local treatments may improve inflammation but do not treat the underlying cause, targeted systemic therapies exist but there is little evidence supporting their use, physical treatments are cumbersome. Besides their antibiotic potential, tetracycline antibiotics also have anti-inflammatory properties and anticollagenase activity via inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases.

Conclusions  Doxycycline appears to be an interesting therapeutic option in Hailey-Hailey disease.

Full article available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jdv.12016/abstract;jsessionid=8314ECF44FF542D304546752C44E6B24.d02t03

The molecular basis of disease heterogeneity in autoimmune conditions such as Pemphigus vulgaris is poorly understood. Although desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) has been well established as a primary target of immunoglobulin (Ig) autoantibodies in PV, there remain several questions regarding the overall distribution of anti-Dsg3 Ig subtypes among patient subsets and considerable controversy regarding whether an isotype switch can be observed between phases of disease activity. To systematically address the outstanding questions related to Ig-isotype specificity in PV, we analyzed IgA, IgM, IgG1, 2, 3 and 4 anti-Dsg3 levels by ELISA in 202 serum samples obtained from 92 patients with distinct clinical profiles based on a set of defined variable (activity, morphology, age, duration) and constant (HLA-type, gender, age of onset) clinical parameters, and 47 serum samples from HLA-matched and -unmatched controls. Our findings provide support for earlier studies identifying IgG4 and IgG1 as the predominant antibodies in PV with significantly higher levels in active than remittent patients. We do not see evidence for an isotype switch between phases of disease activity and remission, and both IgG4 and IgG1 subtypes remain elevated in remittent patients relative to controls. We do, however, find IgG4 to be the sole subtype that further distinguishes PV patient subgroups based on different disease morphologies, disease duration, and HLA-types. These data provide further insight into the immune mechanisms responsible for phenotypic expression of disease, and contribute to the broader effort to establish comprehensive immunoprofiles underlying disease heterogeneity to facilitate increasingly specific and individualized therapeutic interventions.

Full article available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22779708

An autoimmune disease develops when the body’s immune system fails to recognize normal body tissues and attacks and destroys them as if they were foreign, rather than attacking an outside organism. The cause is not fully understood, but in some cases it is thought that autoimmune diseases are triggered by exposure to microorganisms or other environmental causes, especially in people with a genetic predisposition to the disorder. A single organ or multiple organs and tissues may be affected.

There are many autoimmune diseases with symptoms that range from mild rashes to life-threatening conditions that attack major organ systems. Though each disease is different, immune-system malfunction is present in all of them. Disease symptoms vary depending on which tissue is targeted for destruction. Symptoms common to all autoimmune disorders include fatigue, dizziness, malaise, and low-grade fever.

Autoimmune disorders are frequently classified into organ-specific disorders and non-organ-specific types. Organs and tissues frequently affected include the endocrine gland, such as thyroid, pancreas, and adrenal glands; components of the blood, such as red blood

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cells; and the connective tissues, skin, muscles, and joints.

In organ-specific disorders, the autoimmune process is directed mostly against one organ. But patients may experience several organ-specific diseases at the same time. In non-organ-specific disorders, autoimmune activity is widely spread throughout the body. This includes Rheumatoid Arthritis (joints), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and Dermatomyositis (connective tissue).

According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, about 75 percent of autoimmune disease cases occur in women, particularly those who have had children. The cause is not fully understood, but in some cases it is thought to be triggered by exposure to microorganisms especially in people with a genetic predisposition to the disorder.

Common types of localized autoimmune disorders:

  • Addison’s disease (adrenal)
  • Autoimmune hepatitis (liver)
  • Celiac disease (GI tract)
  • Crohn’s disease (GI tract)
  • Graves’ disease (overactive thyroid)
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome (central nervous system)
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (lowered thyroid function)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon (fingers, toes, nose, ears)
  • Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (pancreas islets)
  • Ulcerative colitis (GI tract)Common types of systemic autoimmune diseases:
  • Lupus [Systemic Lupus Erythematosus] (skin, joints, kidneys, heart, brain, red blood cells, other)
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica (large muscle groups)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (joints; less commonly lung, skin, and Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Scleroderma (skin, intestine, less commonly lung)
  • Sjogren’s syndrome (salivary glands, tear glands, joints)
  • Systemic Sclerosis
  • Temporal Arteritis / Giant Cell Arteritis (arteries of the head and neck)

The types of autoimmune disease treated at SCCA with stem cell transplants include:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Systemic Sclerosis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythermatosus
  • Rare neurologic diseases

Other autoimmune diseases treated at SCCA include:

  • Autoimmune Cerebellar Degeneration
  • Autoimmune Peripheral Neuropathies
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Gait Ataxia with Late Age Onset Polyneuropathy (GALOP)
  • Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Opsoclonus/Myoclonus (Anti-Ri)
  • Rasmussen’s Encephalitis
  • Stiff Person Syndrome
  • Tropical Spastic Paraperesis HTLV-1 Associated Myelopathy (TSP/HAM)

Autoimmune diseases that affect blood cells are discussed under Blood Disorders.

  • Immune thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP)
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Autoimmune neutropenia

Inflammation is a key component of immune responses to infection, but when uncontrolled can lead to autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis. In these diseases inflammation is mediated by molecules of the immune system called cytokines and cells that respond to these cytokines called T cells. Autophagy is an ubiquitous process whereby cells degrade their own internal components, either to release valuable nutrients in times of starvation, or to remove damaged or noxious intracellular components. The work by Dr Harris and colleagues showed that autophagy also control release of the inflammatory cytokines and cells that have been implicated in the pathology of autoimmune diseases. The findings suggest that autophagy represents a potent target for new anti-inflammatory therapies, which could be beneficial in a range of autoimmune disorders. The group, in combination with Professor Kingston Mills, now hopes to apply these findings to specific models of autoimmune disease. The work is funded by Science Foundation Ireland as part of a Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) award based in The Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute. “Autophagy is a common cellular process that is important for the maintenance of normal cell functions. Our work has shown that this process is

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important in the control of inflammation and, as such, could represent a particularly efficacious target for new drugs against inflammatory conditions. There are over 80 different autoimmune diseases, most of which are chronic and debilitating and can be difficult and expensive to treat. Any research which helps us to better understand the underlying mechanisms behind the control of inflammation will ultimately lead to better treatments,” explained Dr James Harris.

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-important-role-autophagy-self-eating-cells.html#jCp