What is pemphigus vulgaris?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Bassam Zeina, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Pemphigus vulgaris is an autoimmune, intraepithelial, blistering disease affecting the skin and mucous membranes. It is mediated by circulating autoantibodies directed against keratinocyte cell surfaces. A potentially life-threatening disease, it has a mortality rate of approximately 5-15%. [1]

The primary lesion of pemphigus vulgaris is a flaccid blister filled with clear fluid that arises on healthy skin or on an erythematous base (see the image below).

Early, small blister filled with clear fluid arise Early, small blister filled with clear fluid arises on healthy skin.

See Clues in the Oral Cavity: Are You Missing the Diagnosis?, a Critical Images slideshow, to help identify the causes of abnormalities of the oral cavity.


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