Background: Immunobullous diseases are morphologically heterogeneous and the differentiation between various subtypes is essential for proper treatment and prognosis. The aim of our study was to analyze and correlate clinical, histopathological, and immunofluorescence findings in autoimmune bullous diseases.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted over a period of two years (2010-2012) after receiving the ethics committee approval. Sixty patients who met the inclusion criteria of immunobullous disease were included in the study. Skin biopsy for histopathological and direct immunofluorescence (DIF) examination was taken. DIF was also done in a few of the cases using the salt-split technique. The final diagnosis was based on clinical, histopathological, and DIF
Result: Sixty cases with a clinical diagnosis of autoimmune bullous diseases were evaluated. In 95% of the cases, the histopathological diagnosis was consistent with the clinical diagnosis and in 75% of the cases, the DIF diagnosis was consistent with the clinical diagnosis. A positive relationship was seen between clinical and DIF findings with r = 0.67 and between histopathologic and DIF findings with r = 0.76. DIF positivity was seen in 100% of the cases of bullous pemphigoid (BP), 100% of the cases of pemphigus foliaceus, and 94.7% of the cases of pemphigus vulgaris which was statistically significant with P < 0.05.
Conclusion: Our study provides evidence-based guidance for the diagnosis and classification of various immunobullous disorders. DIF test should be done in conjunction with histopathology to
make a definite diagnosis and minimize both false-positive and false-negative results.