The International Pemphigus & Pemphigoid Foundation and Dr. Sarah Brenner recently conducted a survey on some aspects of pemphigus, in particular the gender distribution of the patients, and the relationship between the disease and the use of sex hormones.
by Ernest H. Beutner, Ph.D.*
Professor of Microbiology and Dermatology,
University of Buffalo; School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences;
Patients with pemphigus may benefit by working with their doctors to gain a better understanding of the tests used to detect and control the disease, in some situations. Three groups of tests can help doctors diagnose pemphigus; one of these can also help to control the disease. Two groups use skin or oral tissue samples, one from light microscopy and one for direct immunofluorescence. A third group uses blood tests for the pemphigus antibodies that cause the disease; these fluctuate with disease activity. Many doctors use al three methods to check all diagnoses of pemphigus; each test gives different types of information.