Paraneoplastic Pemphigus: A Paraneoplastic Autoimmune Multiorgan Syndrome or Autoimmune Multiorganopathy?

Paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP), a clinically and immunopathologically distinct mucocutaneous blistering dermatosis, is a severe form of autoimmune multiorgan syndrome generally associated with poor therapeutic outcome and high mortality. This IgG-mediated disease is initiated by an obvious or occult lymphoproliferative disorder in most cases. Clinically severe mucositis, and polymorphic blistering skin eruptions, and histologically acantholysis, keratinocyte necrosis and interface dermatitis are its hallmark features. A 58-year-old female presented with recurrent, severe, recalcitrant stomatitis and widespread erosions/blistering lesions of one-year duration. Treatment with repeated courses of systemic corticosteroids at a peripheral center would provide temporary relief. She also had fever, productive cough, odynophagia and poor oral intake, herpes zoster ophthalmicus, pain in the abdomen, and watery diarrhea. An array of investigations revealed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), mediastinal and para-aortic lymphadenopathy, bronchiolitis obliterans, and vertebral osteoporosis/fractures. With the diagnosis of CLL-associated PNP she was managed with dexamethasone-cyclophosphamide pulse (DCP) therapy for 3 cycles initially, followed by COP regimen (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisolone) for 5 cycles. Remission is being maintained with chlorambucil and prednisolone pulse therapy once in 3 weeks with complete resolution of skin lesions and adequate control of CLL.

Full article can be viewed here: http://www.hindawi.com/crim/dm/2012/207126/

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