Clinical features and practical diagnosis of bullous pemphigoid

Dermatol Clin. 2011 Jul;29(3):427-38, viii-ix. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2011.03.010.


Bullous pemphigoid (BP) represents the most common autoimmune subepidermal blistering disease. BP typically affects the elderly and is associated with significant morbidity. It has usually a chronic course with spontaneous exacerbations. The cutaneous manifestations of BP can be extremely protean. While diagnosis of BP in the bullous stage is straightforward, in the non-bullous stage or in atypical variants of BP signs and symptoms are frequently non-specific with eg, only itchy excoriated, eczematous, papular and/or urticarial lesions that may persist for several weeks or months. Diagnosis of BP critically relies on immunopathologic examinations including direct immunofluorescence microscopy and detection of serum autoantibodies by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy or BP180-ELISA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / diagnosis*
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies