Pemphigoid diseases

Lancet. 2013 Jan 26;381(9863):320-32. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61140-4. Epub 2012 Dec 11.


Pemphigoid diseases are a group of well defined autoimmune disorders that are characterised by autoantibodies against structural proteins of the dermal-epidermal junction and, clinically, by tense blisters and erosions on skin or mucous membranes close to the skin surface. The most common of these diseases is bullous pemphigoid, which mainly affects older people and the reported incidence of which in Europe has more than doubled in the past decade. Prognosis and treatments vary substantially between the different disorders and, since clinical criteria are usually not sufficient, direct immunofluorescence microscopy of a perilesional biopsy specimen or serological tests are needed for exact diagnosis. In eight pemphigoid diseases the target antigens have been identified molecularly, which has allowed the development of standard diagnostic assays for detection of serum autoantibodies-some of which are commercially available. In this Seminar we discuss the clinical range, diagnostic criteria, diagnostic assay systems, and treatment options for this group of diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Humans
  • Pemphigoid, Benign Mucous Membrane / immunology
  • Pemphigoid, Benign Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous* / diagnosis
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous* / immunology
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous* / physiopathology
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous* / therapy


  • Autoantibodies