Successful therapy of pemphigus vulgaris with immunoadsorption using the TheraSorb™ adsorber


Dr. C. Günther
Klinik und Poliklinik für Dermatologie
Fetscherstr. 74
D-01307 Dresden


Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is caused by autoantibodies to desmogleins. Standard immunosuppressive therapy may be limited by concomitant diseases or ineffective.In these cases, removal of circulating antibodies by immunoadsorption can induce remission.

An 87-year-old woman with PV and considerable co-morbidities suffered from extensive mucous membrane erosions and bouts of skin blistering refractory to treatment with methotrexate,as well as mycopheno-late mofetil and corticosteroids even when combined with plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin. Adjuvant immunoadsorption therapy with the TheraSorb™ columns-first weekly, than monthly-induced a complete remission, as well as a parallel decrease in PV antibody titers. Continued therapy for 18 months kept the patient in remission but for one infection-related relapse, and remission has been stable over two further years on low-dose methotrex-ate monotherapy. This case confirms the clinical efficacy of immunoad-sorption in PV and adds another type of adsorber column to the armamentarium, which is useful to the dermatologist who has to cooperate with local lipid apheresis or dialysis units.