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Keywords:

  • pemphigus;
  • protein A immunoadsorption;
  • anti-Dsg autoantibodies

Abstract: A pemphigus vulgaris (PV) patient with a 14-year history of severe and painful blistering of skin and mucous membranes as well as side effects from corticosteroids and concomitant immunosuppressive drug treatment was managed successfully by protein A immunoadsorption (IA). After 19 sessions of protein A IA, the patient showed remission of PV and healing of mucocutaneous lesions and the skin. The level of the pathogenic autoantibodies to the adhesion proteins desmoglein 1 (Dsg-1) and desmoglein 3 (Dsg-3) measured by ELISA and immunofluorescence microscopy revealed a significant removal of autoantibodies after each IA therapy. There was a weak rebound of anti-Dsg-1 and anti-Dsg-3 antibodies between IA sessions but an overall decrease over the period of IA therapy. This case demonstrates the effective use of protein A IA as an adjuvant and corticosteroid-sparing therapy in severe pemphigus refractory to standard immunosuppressive therapy and underscores the need for careful monitoring of autoantibodies.