Clinical Approach to Ocular Cicatricial Pemphigoid

Turk J Ophthalmol. 2023 Apr 20;53(2):79-84. doi: 10.4274/tjo.galenos.2022.34683.


Objectives: To evaluate the demographic data, ocular and systemic findings, clinical management, and outcomes of patients with ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP).

Materials and methods: The medical records of 11 patients diagnosed as having OCP in the ophthalmology department of Ege University between 2008 and 2021 were evaluated retrospectively.

Results: The patients' mean follow-up time was 14±5.76 months. All eyes (100%) had conjunctival involvement and 18 (81.81%) had corneal involvement. According to the Tauber staging system, 7 (31.81%), 8 (36.36%), and 7 (31.81%) of the eyes were stage 2, 3, and 4, respectively. The diagnosis was confirmed in 6 (66.66%) of 9 patients who underwent biopsy. Amniotic membrane transplantation was performed in 7 eyes, entropion surgery in 2 eyes, and electrocauterization for trichiasis in 5 eyes. Systemic involvement was observed in 45.45% (5/11) of patients, most commonly oral mucosal involvement (18.18%). Review of medical records showed that alkylating agents, steroids, and dapsone were used in patients treated before 2020. Mycophenolate mofetil was preferred to be used in combination with corticosteroids. Although treatment responses before mycophenolate mofetil usage could not be evaluated well because of loss to follow-up, 4 (66.66%) of 6 patients who received steroid treatment combined with mycophenolate mofetil showed partial or complete clinical remission. No serious side effects and drug withdrawal were observed.

Conclusion: OCP is a sight-threatening autoimmune disease that affects older adults. Although positive biopsy results are valuable for diagnosis, negative results do not exclude the diagnosis. The main treatment is systemic immunosuppressives. Disease activity can be suppressed, especially with early initiation of drug therapy. These patients require a multidisciplinary approach. Especially in the presence of isolated ocular findings, ophthalmologists should be able to make the decision to start immunosuppressive treatment, and systemic treatment should not be delayed.

Keywords: Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid; cicatricial conjunctivitis; immunofluorescence; mycophenolate mofetil.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Conjunctiva / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Mycophenolic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Pemphigoid, Benign Mucous Membrane* / complications
  • Pemphigoid, Benign Mucous Membrane* / diagnosis
  • Pemphigoid, Benign Mucous Membrane* / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Immunosuppressive Agents