What is the mortality rate of pemphigus vulgaris?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Bassam Zeina, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Pemphigus vulgaris is a potentially life-threatening autoimmune mucocutaneous disease with a mortality rate of approximately 5-15%. [1] Mortality in patients with pemphigus vulgaris is 3 times higher than the general population. Complications secondary to the use of high-dose corticosteroids contribute to the mortality rate. Morbidity and mortality are related to the extent of disease, the maximum dose of systemic steroids required to induce remission, and the presence of other diseases. Prognosis is worse in patients with extensive pemphigus vulgaris and in older patients.

Pemphigus vulgaris involves mucosa in 50-70% of patients. This may limit oral intake secondary to dysphagia. Blistering and erosions secondary to the rupture of blisters may be painful and may limit the patient's daily activities. Additionally, Patients with pemphigus vulgaris typically heal without scarring unless the disease is complicated by severe secondary infection.

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