Skin antibodies – pemphigus and bullous pemphigoid
Test Background There are two types of antibody detected in the bullous dermatoses: intra-epidermal/desmosome antibody (pemphigus antibody) and basement membrane zone antibody (associated predominantly with bullous pemphigoid). These are IgG antibodies that are present in the serum of 70-90 % of affected individuals. The pemphigus antibody concentration correlates with disease activity and disappears during clinical remission, while the pemphigoid antibody does not. Indirect immunofluorescence is performed on monkey oesophagus and two patterns can be identified:
Clinical Indications Presentation of painful skin lesions and mouth sores with or without possible lung involvement Differential diagnosis of eczema, pemphigus foliaceus (PF) and dermatitis
Reference Range Negative
Sample Required RST (rust top)
Sample Volume 5-10 mL (1 mL serum)
Turnaround Time 28 days
Notes Not currently performed in house; this test is referred to the Protein Reference Unit, Sheffield.