Sera and frozen biopsy specimens taken for immunofluorescence can be of diagnostic value in studies of vesiculobullous eruptions and connective tissue diseases. Appropriate handling of specimens is important. In cases of pemphigus and pemphigoid, findings of typical antibodies in sera and immunoglobulin deposits in skin sections serve to establish the diagnoses. Fluctuations in titers of pemphigus antibodies afford a prognostic guide. IgA deposits at the dermoepidermal junction in patients with vesiculobullous eruptions are diagnostic of dermatitis herpetiformis. Elevated titers of antinuclear antibodies, frequently with a peripheral pattern, and DNA antibodies as well as junctional deposits of immunoglobulins or complement or both in the apparently uninvolved skin are highly characteristic of systemic lupus erythematosus. More or less typical patterns of immunoglobulin and complement deposits in the lesion appear in discoid lupus erythematosus, porphyrias, and some other dermatoses.
Uses for Immunofluorescence Tests of Skin and SeraUtilization of Immunofluorescence in the Diagnosis of Bullous Diseases, Lupus Erythematosus, and Certain Other Dermatoses. Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(3):371-381. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630150091013