Review

Serological Studies in Bullous Pemphigoid: A Literature Review of Antibody Titers at Presentation and in Clinical Remission

Stefania Leuci, Hakan M. Gürcan, A. Razzaque Ahmed
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-0819

Abstract

Bullous pemphigoid is associated with antibodies to a 230 kDa and a 180 kDa protein. In a literature review we investigated the role of auto-antibodies as detected by different serological assays. Nine reports containing data on 143 patients were analyzed. Pre-treatment data showed that indirect immunofluorescence, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblotting offer an 82.2% or greater probability of being positive. At the end of the study period, all patients had clinically improved, whether or not they were on therapy. Auto-antibodies were present in 29% of patients evaluated by monkey esophagus immunofluorescence and 75% of those evaluated by human skin immunofluorescence. Positive titers were also reported in 67.6% of patients evaluated by ELISA. In 100% of patients in whom immunoblotting was performed the titers became negative. In 3 patients (5.3%) using human skin immunofluorescence and in one patient (1.4%) using ELISA the titers were increased at the end of the study period. The correlation between anti-basement membrane zone antibodies and the clinical course of bullous pemphigoid requires further and long-term studies.

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