Bullous pemphigoid in a patient with suspected non-Herlitz junctional epidermolysis bullosa

A. Perez, N. Almaani, C. M. Stefanato, B. Bhogal, R. W. Groves, J. E. Mellerio, J. A. McGrath

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5 Citations (Scopus)


A 56-year-old man with lifelong trauma-induced blisters, nail dystrophy and dental enamel hypoplasia presented with a new spontaneous blistering eruption. Clinicopathologically, he had evidence of both an inherited and an acquired blistering disorder: non-Herlitz junctional epidermolysis bullosa (nHJEB) and bullous pemphigoid (BP). HIstological examination of a skin biopsy found reduced (but not absent) collagen XVII in nonlesional skin, in vivo bound anticollagen XVII antibodies in perilesional skin, and prominent eosinophils in perilesional and lesional skin, with subepidermal blistering. Circulating anticollagen XVII antibodies were also present. Treatment with oral corticosteroids and mycophenolate mofetil led to clinical control of the BP but had no effect on the mechanobullous blistering. Our patient is unusual in that his skin retains some labelling for collagen XVII rather than having the complete absence of immunoreactivity expected in patients with generalized nHJEB. Moreover, we were unable to identify any pathogenic mutations in the COL17A1 gene encoding collagen XVII (or in other EB-associated basement membrane genes). It is plausible that the long-term consequences of basement membrane disruption in our patient, perhaps associated with atypical inherited COL17A1 pathology, might result in a conformationally altered and more immunogenic protein with the subsequent development of anticollagen XVII antibodies and BP as a secondary pathology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881 - 884
Number of pages4
JournalClinical and Experimental Dermatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


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