Mucous membrane pemphigoid has a wide clinical spectrum. The clinical context was to determine whether pemphigoid disease that initiates in the oral cavity progresses to involve other mucosae and to determine the influence of systemic therapy on such progression.
To determine the clinical outcomes and disease progression in patients with oral pemphigoid for whom dapsone therapy was impossible.
Retrospective analysis of a cohort of 20 patients with immunopathologic-proven oral pemphigoid studied between September 1, 1994, and October 31, 2000. Twelve patients received conventional therapy that consisted of a combination of oral prednisone with an immunosuppressive agent. Eight patients in whom such therapy was contraindicated received intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. Patients were followed up for 33 to 62 months (mean follow-up, 47.5 months).
Patients were treated in an ambulatory tertiary medical care facility of a university-affiliated hospital.
The 20 patients had pemphigoid disease limited to the oral cavity only at the initial clinical presentation and when enrolled in the study.
Main Outcome Measures
The following variables were compared between the 2 groups of patients: (1) duration of treatment, (2) frequency of relapses, (3) induction of remission, (4) adverse effects of therapy, (5) extra oral involvement, and (6) quality of life.
Using the aforementioned factors, the group treated with intravenous immunoglobulin had statistically significant shorter treatment duration, fewer relapses, higher remission rate, fewer adverse effects, no extraoral involvement, and a better quality of life compared with the group who received conventional therapy.
Intravenous immunoglobulin is a safe and effective modality to treat mucous membrane pemphigoid. It seems to be a good option for patients who cannot be treated with dapsone and in whom conventional therapy is contraindicated or results in the development of serious adverse effects. In patients with progressive mucous membrane pemphigoid, intravenous immunoglobulin therapy may arrest disease progression.