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CASE REPORT
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 540-543

IgG/IgE bullous pemphigoid with CD45 lymphocytic reactivity to dermal blood vessels, nerves and eccrine sweat glands


1 Georgia Dermatopathology Associates, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
2 Diagnostic and Medical Clinic/Dermatology, Mobile, Alabama, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ana Maria Abreu-Velez
Georgia Dermatopathology Associates, 1534 North Decatur Rd. NE; Suite 206, Atlanta, GA 30307-1000
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Context: Bullous pemphigoid (BP), the most common autoimmune blistering disease, is mediated by autoantibodies. BP primarily affects the elderly and is characterized by the development of urticarial plaques surmounted by subepidermal blisters, and the deposition of immunoglobulins and complement at the basement membrane zone (BMZ) of the skin. BP is immunologically characterized by the development of autoantibodies targeting two structural proteins of the hemidesmosomes, BP180 (collagen XVII) and BP230 (BPAG1). Case Report: A 63 -year-old Caucasian female patient was evaluated for a 4 day history of several itching, erythematous blisters on her extremities. Biopsies for hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) examination, as well as Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and direct immunofluorescence (DIF) analysis were performed. Results: H&E demonstrated a subepidermal blister, with partial re-epithelialization of the blister floor. Within the blister lumen, numerous neutrophils were present, with occasional eosinophils and lymphocytes also noted. Within the dermis, a mild, superficial, perivascular and periadnexal infiltrate of lymphocytes, histiocytes and occasional eosinophils was identified, with mild perivascular leukocytoclastic debris. The PAS stain was positive at the BMZ, and around selected blood vessels, nerves and sweat glands. DIF revealed linear deposits of IgG and Complement/C3 and fibrinogen at the BMZ, and around selected dermal nerves, blood vessels and sweat glands. Strong granular deposits of IgE were also observed, colocalizing with monoclonal antibodies to Collagen IV (CIV). By IHC, positive CD45 staining of lymphocytes was seen surrounding selected dermal blood vessels, eccrine sweat glands, and nerves. Conclusion : The patient displayed IgG, IgE, and fibrinogen autoantibodies against the BMZ, as well as around some dermal nerves and sweat glands; their binding in the skin could trigger complement activation. In addition, the role of the dermal CD45 positive lymphocytes warrants further investigation.


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