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Diagnostic value of autoantibody titres in patients with bullous pemphigoid

  • Investigative Report
  • Published:
European Journal of Dermatology

Abstract

Background

Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is the most common autoimmune blistering disease of the skin requiring skin and serum tests for a precise diagnosis.

Objectives

We analysed the sensitivity and specificity of BP-relevant parameters and the value of autoantibody titres during follow-up of BP patients.

Materials & methods

In a retrospective single-centre study, we included 200 consecutive patients with BP and 400 non-BP patients, and evaluated the test results of patients’ serum and skin. In addition, we followed patients’ autoantibody titres and clinical characteristics.

Results

BP180-ELISA revealed the highest sensitivity (85.0%; specificity: 93.9%), while BP230-ELISA demonstrated the lowest sensitivity (55.5%; specificity: 92.9%). Direct and indirect immunofluorescence showed comparable results for sensitivity (77.2%/72.7%) and specificity (94.9%/93.7%). The sensitivity for skin histology was 76.3% (specificity: 81.3%). Longitudinal analysis showed significant changes in autoantibody titres.

Conclusions

BP diagnostics should include serum tests for BP autoantibodies and skin immunofluorescence. Skin histology is supportive for diagnosis. Autoantibody titres are markers for disease activity.

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Correspondence to Kamran Ghoreschi.

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Eckardt, J., Eberle, F.C. & Ghoreschi, K. Diagnostic value of autoantibody titres in patients with bullous pemphigoid. Eur J Dermatol 28, 3–12 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1684/ejd.2017.3166

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