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Journal of cutaneous pathology

C3d immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed tissue is a valuable tool in the diagnosis of bullous pemphigoid of the skin.


PMID 19863700

Abstract

Direct immunofluorescence (DIF) testing is an important procedure in the diagnosis of autoimmune bullous dermatoses. We investigated the expression of C3d in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue of autoimmune bullous dermatoses. The immunohistochemical expression of C3d in bullous pemphigoid (BP) (n = 32), pemphigoid gestationis (PG) (n = 3), pemphigus (n = 14), dermatitis herpetiformis Duhring (DHD) (n = 10), linear immunoglobulin A (IgA) dermatosis (n = 4), mixed forms of BP and linear IgA dermatosis (n = 2), and 44 controls was analyzed on formalin-fixed tissue. Thirty-one of 32 cases (97%) of BP and 3 out of 3 cases (100%) of PG showed a linear positivity of C3d along the basement membrane. Only 3 out of 14 (21%) cases of pemphigus showed an intraepidermal intercellular expression of C3d. The two mixed forms of linear IgA dermatosis and BP showed a linear positivity of C3d along the basement membrane. All cases of DHD, linear IgA dermatosis and all of the controls were negative for C3d. C3d immunohistochemistry is a valuable tool in the diagnosis of BP and PG of the skin with a sensitivity of at least 97%. Mixed forms of linear IgA dermatosis, and BP, DHD and linear IgA dermatosis can only be identified by DIF. A positive result may prompt serologic confirmation of BP without further need for DIF.

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