A case of IgA pemphigus with acantholysis in oral mucosal lesions

Ayumi Yamanishi, Noriko Ono, Asako Tsunoda, Yasuhiko Asahina, Takayuki Fusumae, Jun Yamagami, Noriyasu Sakai, Norito Ishii, Masayuki Amagai, Hayato Takahashi

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IgA pemphigus is an autoimmune bullous disease caused by anti-keratinocyte cell surface IgA autoantibodies. Mucous membrane involvement is rare in IgA pemphigus. We report a case of IgA pemphigus with oral mucosal lesions, in which acantholysis was pathologically confirmed. A 31-year-old woman presented with skin erythema with small pustules and oral mucosal erosions. Histopathological examination of the erosions on her oral mucosa and papules on her back revealed acantholysis and intraepidermal infiltration of neutrophils. Direct immunofluorescence tests showed intercellular deposition of IgA, but not IgG, mainly in the lower, but not entire, layer of the epidermis. C3 was linearly present in the basement membrane zone (BMZ), but not in the intercellular space. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay revealed that both anti-desmoglein (Dsg) 3 IgA and IgG were positive. Neither IgA nor IgG against desmocollin 1–3 were detected. This case was clinically and histologically compatible with IgA pemphigus, but immunologically anti-BMZ autoimmunity was additionally observed. IgA pemphigus is classified into two major types: subcorneal pustular dermatosis type and intraepidermal neutrophilic dermatosis type. This case was not typical in terms of rarely observed oral lesions and predominant deposition of IgA in the lower layer of the epidermis. Instead, this case could be considered a rare subtype of IgA pemphigus, IgA-pemphigus vulgaris. Oral lesions in IgA pemphigus may be clinical clue of having anti-Dsg3 IgA that cannot be routinely examined.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSkin Health and Disease
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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