Tag Archives: pemphigus vulgaris

We report a case of neutropenic ulceration in a 42-year-old woman receiving azathioprine for pemphigus vulgaris. She developed multiple indolent ulcers involving the nose, neck, and back, after about 6-8 weeks following commencement of azathioprine 50 mg daily. The ulcers were large, disfiguring, dry, and with basal necrotic slough. They were painless and did not discharge pus. The absolute neutrophil count was severely depressed initially, but normalized following azathioprine withdrawal. Swab culture revealed colonization with Klebsiella pneumoniae and the ulcers healed with local debridement, treatment with imipenem, and topical application of mupirocin. However, nasal disfigurement persisted. Neutropenic ulceration is known to be associated with azathioprine therapy but we report this case because of the unusual presentation-indolent cutaneous ulcers. Early recognition of the problem and drug withdrawal can prevent complications like disfigurement.

Neutropenia is characterized by an abnormally low number of neutrophils in the blood. Neutrophils normally comprise 45-75% of circulating white blood cells, and neutropenia is diagnosed when the absolute neutrophil count falls to <1500/ μL. Slowly developing neutropenia often goes undetected and is generally discovered when the patient develops sepsis or localized infections.

There are many causes of neutropenia, and immunosuppressants are a common iatrogenic cause. Azathioprine is an immunosuppressant drug that is being used for nearly 50 years now in organ transplantation and in diseases with suspected autoimmune etiology. Dermatologists use azathioprine as a steroid-sparing agent in various dermatoses such as psoriasis, immunobullous diseases, photodermatoses, and eczematous disorders. [1] The drug has been used in ulcerative autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease and pyoderma gangrenosum. On the other hand, it has also been implicated as a cause of ulceration associated with neutropenia. [2] Most reports of neutropenic ulceration document involvement of the buccal mucosa and oral cavity.  We report a case of multiple severe cutaneous ulcers associated with long-term azathioprine use in a patient with pemphigus vulgaris.

Full article available at: http://www.ijp-online.com/article.asp?issn=0253-7613;year=2012;volume=44;issue=5;spage=646;epage=648;aulast=Laha

Dichorionic diamniotic twins were born at 37 weeks of gestation by cesarean section to a 34-year-old primigravid Japanese woman because the first twin was in breech presentation. The mother had been diagnosed with pemphigus vulgaris prior to her pregnancy. In addition to a high antidesmoglein 3 autoantibody titer, flaccid bullae and erosions on both of the twins’ lips and in their oral cavities at 13 days of age led to the diagnosis of neonatal pemphigus vulgaris. This case highlights the need for awareness that pemphigus

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vulgaris may not occur immediately after birth.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1525-1470.2012.01828.x/abstract;jsessionid

Associations between blood groups and several diseases are observed in the literature. Some of these have scientific support suggesting a rationale, statistical relation. The association between ABO groups with several malignancies, hypercholesterolemia, thrombosis, myocardial infarction, duodenal ulcer, infections, and autoimmune diseases is reported.  Pemphigus vulgaris (PV), a rare autoimmune, blistering disease, related to autoantibodies mainly directed to desmogleins, which lead to loss of keratinocyte adhesion.  The association between ABO groups and pemphigus has been proposed but not fully demonstrated. Shahkar et al., concluded the non-existent relationship between blood groups and the development of PV. The authors carried out a case-control study that showed there is no real association between blood groups and PV, in contrast to the work of Grob and Inderbitzin  and Altobella.  The authors determined that the presence of a particular blood group, in patients with the disease, does not vary significantly with “healthy” population distribution, which is very important because the relationship between blood groups and skin diseases has been controversial and not yet fully elucidated or explained clearly.

In 2007, Valikhani et al.,  showed not only that the ABO and Rhesus blood groups not have a particular distribution in the PV, other than the population, but no such relationship with any of the known variants of pemphigus, at least in Iran, suggesting the authors to conduct a study involving other areas of global demographic.

In Mexico, we conducted a similar study in a tertiary referral center for specialized dermatology consultation. We obtained the ABO and Rhesus blood groups of patients with PV in a period between January 2002 and October 2009, being our hospital a center that collects patients from different parts of Mexico and even South America.

We selected 70 charts of patients with PV. No differences in the presence of a particular blood group in patients with the disease were found (P=0.65). We sought to evaluate if any ABO group correlates with the clinical outcome (body surface area affected) of the patients studied. There were no positive or negative correlation between ABO groups and clinical outcome in PV (P=0.752)

We conclude, there is no association between ABO and Rhesus blood groups with PV, demonstrated by observing no differences between the presentations of a specific blood group in the disease. Moreover, there is no association between any ABO groups with the clinical outcome in PV.

Tirado-Sánchez A, Ponce-Olivera RM. Lack of relationship between blood groups and clinical outcome (body surface area affected) in patients with pemphigus vulgaris. Indian J Dermatol [serial online] 2012 [cited 2012 Sep 12];57:411-2. Available from: http://www.e-ijd.org/text.asp?2012/57/5/411/100513

Background:  Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune blistering skin disorder characterized by the presence of suprabasal acantholysis and autoantibodies against desmoglein 3. There are two different clinical forms: mucocutaneous (MCPV) or mucosal (MPV). However, it is not clear how PV lesions in oral, ear, nose and throat (OENT) areas produced by the very dynamic of the anatomical structures involved in the functions of the aerodigestive tract. Objectives:  To investigate the pattern of OENT manifestations in PV, and their relationship with physiological traumatic mechanisms in stratified squamous epithelium structures. Patients:  A prospective analysis of 40 patients diagnosed with MCPV (22 patients) or MPV (18 patients) was carried out in the University Clinic of Navarra. OENT manifestations were evaluated in all patients endoscopically. OENT involvement was divided into anatomical areas. Results:  The most frequent symptom was pain, mainly on oral mucosa (87,5%). Buccal mucosa (90%), posterior wall of pharynx (67.5%), upper edge of epiglottis (85%) and nasal vestibule (70%) were the areas most frequently affected in the OENT mucosa. These localizations were related to physiological traumatic mechanisms in polystratified squamous epithelium structures. Conclusions:  OENT endoscopy should be included in the examination of all PV patients. To know the most frequent localizations of active lesions on OENT mucosa in PV will help us to interpreter more efficiently the findings from OENT endoscopy. Also, information related to traumatic physiological mechanisms on OENT areas must be offered to patients in order to avoid the appearance of new active PV lesions.
PMID: 22716123 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher] (Source: The British Journal of Dermatology)
from MedWorm: Pemphigus http://www.medworm.com/index.php?rid=6310669&cid=c_297_12_f&fid=37668&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2FPubMed%2F22716123%3Fdopt%3DAbstract

Background:  Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) and pemphigus foliaceus (PF) are potentially fatal blistering diseases caused by autoantibodies targeting desmoglein adhesion proteins. Previous studies have shown an IgG4>IgG1 predominance of anti-desmoglein antibodies in pemphigus; however, no studies have examined total serum IgG4 levels in pemphigus. IgG4 is induced by chronic antigen stimulation, which could occur with persistent skin blistering and potentially elevate the total serum IgG4 relative to other IgG subclasses in pemphigus patients.

Objectives:  The primary aim of the study was to quantitate total and desmoglein-specific IgG subclasses in pemphigus patients.

Methods:  IgG subclasses and desmoglein-specific IgG1 and IgG4 were quantitated in PV, PF, and age-matched normal sera using a subclass ELISA. The effectiveness of IgG4 depletion in blocking PV IgG pathogenicity was determined using a keratinocyte dissociation assay.

Results:  Desmoglein-specific antibodies comprised a median of 7.1% and 4.2% of total IgG4 in PV and PF patients, with 8-fold and 4-fold enrichment in IgG4 versus IgG1. Total serum IgG4, but not other IgG subclasses, was enriched in PV and PF patients compared to age-matched controls (p=0.004 and p=0.005, respectively). IgG4 depletion of PV sera reduced pathogenicity in a keratinocyte dissociation assay and showed that affinity-purified IgG4 is more pathogenic than other serum IgG fractions.

Conclusions:  Desmoglein-specific autoantibodies are significantly enriched in IgG4, which may explain the enrichment of total serum IgG4 in some pemphigus patients. By preferentially targeting autoimmune rather than beneficial immune antibodies, IgG4-targeted therapies may offer safer treatment options for pemphigus.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11144.x/abstract

This report describes the clinical presentations and treatment responses of three children with PV, as confirmed according to histology and indirect immunofluorescence studies. In all three cases, oral prednisone used in conjunction with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) resulted in complete clinical remission, during which all pharmacotherapy was successfully discontinued. Resolution of the skin and mucosal blistering tended to occur quickly with prednisone, and after initiation of treatment with MMF, discontinuation of all pharmacotherapy was achieved within a range of 10 to 30 months in the three patients. One patient experienced a recurrence of genital lesions 19 months after discontinuation of therapy, but the condition remitted within 2 weeks with topical corticosteroid therapy. At the time of this report, the duration of complete remission ranged from 6 to 19 months. In summary, combination therapy with prednisone and MMF for pediatric PV appears to be a safe and effective approach that is associated with durable remission.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1525-1470.2012.01730.x/abstract

Several studies have tried to determine the relationship between auto-antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor and the development of pemphigus vulgaris. In this study, we observed that antibody levels against the acetylcholine receptor are mildly elevated in pemphigus vulgaris (PV), and significantly correlate with disease severity on the initial diagnosis and during follow up. However, it is not clear if these antibodies are just an epiphenomenon or a potential trigger of the known pathogenic process in PV.

 

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22630584?dopt=Abstract

Background:  Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune blistering skin disorder characterized by the presence of suprabasal acantholysis and autoantibodies against desmoglein 3. There are two different clinical forms: mucocutaneous (MCPV) or mucosal (MPV). However, it is not clear how PV lesions in oral, ear, nose and throat (OENT) areas produced by the very dynamic of the anatomical structures involved in the functions of the aerodigestive tract.

Objectives:  To investigate the pattern of OENT manifestations in PV, and their relationship with physiological traumatic mechanisms in stratified squamous epithelium structures.

Patients:  A prospective analysis of 40 patients diagnosed with MCPV (22 patients) or MPV (18 patients) was carried out in the University Clinic of Navarra. OENT manifestations were evaluated in all patients endoscopically. OENT involvement was divided into anatomical areas.

Results:  The most frequent symptom was pain, mainly on oral mucosa (87,5%). Buccal mucosa (90%), posterior wall of pharynx (67.5%), upper edge of epiglottis (85%) and nasal vestibule (70%) were the areas most frequently affected in the OENT mucosa. These localizations were related to physiological traumatic mechanisms in polystratified squamous epithelium structures.

Conclusions:  OENT endoscopy should be included in the examination of all PV patients. To know the most frequent localizations of active lesions on OENT mucosa in PV will help us to interpreter more efficiently the findings from OENT endoscopy. Also, information related to traumatic physiological mechanisms on OENT areas must be offered to patients in order to avoid the appearance of new active PV lesions.

 

Source: Study of Oral, Ear, Nose, and Throat Involvement…

  Autoimmune bullous diseases are associated with autoimmunity against structural components that maintain cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion in the skin and mucous membranes. They include those where the skin blisters at the basement membrane zone and those where the skin blisters within the epidermis (pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus foliaceus, and other subtypes of pemphigus). The variants of pemphigus are determined according to the level of intraepidermal split formation. There are 5 main variants of pemphigus: pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus foliaceus, pemphigus erythematosus, drug-induced pemphigus, and paraneoplastic pemphigus. This review focuses only on pemphigus vulgaris. (Source: Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America)

from MedWorm: Pemphigus http://www.medworm.com/index.php?rid=6018240&cid=c_297_3_f&fid=33229&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.immunology.theclinics.com%2Farticle%2FPIIS0889856112000185%2Fabstract%3Frss%3Dyes

The 175 genes that were found to be significantly differentially expressed between cases and controls were used as input for pathway analysis with the ingenuity pathway analysis software. The network that was given the most significant P-value and the highest-scored functional pathways is shown. The network was found to be related to ST18 (marked in green). © 2012 Society for Investigative Dermatology

The recent buzz in the pemphigus and pemphigoid community stems from the publication of “Population-Specific Association between a Polymorphic Variant in ST18, Encoding a Pro-Apoptotic Molecule, and Pemphigus Vulgaris” in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (available online, March 2012).

Despite the fact that pemphigus most often affects adults, it seems a large extent may be genetically determined. Indeed, the disease sometimes runs in families. Also, the deleterious antibodies implicated as a major cause of the disease can be found in healthy relatives of patients. And finally, the disease prevalence is highly population-dependent. For example, it is up to 40 times more common in Jewish as compared with non-Jewish populations.

The delineation of the genetic basis of a disease can reveal unknown aspects of its pathogenesis, which in turn is likely to point to novel therapeutic targets. To tackle the genetic basis of pemphigus vulgaris, Dr. Ofer Sarig and Eli Sprecher (Department of Dermatology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel) led a collaboration with Ibrahim Saleh (co-Principle Investigator), Detlef Zilliekens, Michael Hertl and Markus M. Nöthen (Germany); Dedee Murrell (Australia), Aviv Barzilai, Henri Trau, Reuven Bergman, Ariel Darvasi, Karl Skorecki, Dan Geiger and Saharon Rosset (Israel).

Over the past two years, they assessed on a global (“genomic”) level the possibility that specific genetic variants may predispose to pemphigus vulgaris. They identified genetic variations in a gene called ST18 associated with the increased incidence of pemphigus vulgaris in Jewish and Egyptian patients. The fact that patients of German origin did not demonstrate the same trend suggests that the ST18 variants shows an increased risk for the disease in a population-specific manner. Carriers of the genetic changes have a 6-fold elevated risk of developing the disease. These genetic variations are associated with an increase in the expression of ST18 in the skin. Since ST18 is known to promote programmed cell death, increased expression of this protein may render the skin tissue more susceptible to the deleterious effects of the pathogenic antibodies.

Prof. Eli Sprecher is Director of Dermatology at The Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel.

What started as a posting of the story on Facebook quickly spread to the P/P Email Discussion Group where the talk turned to quicker diagnosis, better treatments, and a cure. Dr. Sprecher said, “The greatest reward for a physician involved in basic research like me is the feedback we get from our patients. This goes much deeper than anything else.” The P/P Community continues to be high-spirited and focused on researching this discovery and hopes more information is available at the IPPF’s Fifteenth Annual Meeting in Boston, May 18-20. 2012.

This step along the path of better understanding disease susceptibility and pathogenesis sheds new light on the genetic association of pemphigus vulgaris. Future work is still needed to more towards better genetic tools that impact disease management and targeted therapies.

But today, we are one step closer than we were yesterday.