What is an alternative to serial skin biopsies for obtaining immunofluorescence specimens of pemphigus vulgaris?

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

Reversion of direct immunofluorescence (DIF) to negative can be useful to predict sustained remission after withdrawal of medication. Plucked hairs are an alternative to skin biopsy to provide a specimen for immunofluorescence, as the pilar sheath epithelium of the anagen hair typically demonstrates immunofluorescence comparable to skin. DIF on plucked hairs may be more acceptable to the patient than serial skin biopsies. [20, 21]


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