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July 1993

A Paraneoplastic Mixed Bullous Skin Disease Associated With Anti-skin Antibodies and a B-Cell Lymphoma

Author Affiliations

From The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology (Drs Bystryn, Hodak, and Gao) and the Departments of Pathology (Dr Chuba) and Hematology (Dr Amorosi), New York (NY) University School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(7):870-875. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680280058011

• Background.—  The full spectrum of bullous diseases associated with underlying cancers remains to be fully defined.

Observation.—  We describe a patient with a mixed bullous disease exhibiting combined features of cicatricial pemphigoid and pemphigus and associated with a B-cell lymphoma producing an IgM paraprotein to intercellular antigens in human skin. The patient had the clinical features of cicatricial pemphigoid and the histologic and immunofluorescence abnormalities of both cicatricial pemphigoid and pemphigus. These included oral and cutaneous erosions; ocular scarring; subbasal and acantholytic intraepidermal bullae; and circulating and tissue-fixed basement membrane zone and intercellular antibodies. The antibodies were directed to a 140-kd antigen in dermal extracts of skin split with 1 mol/L of sodium chloride and to antigens with approximate molecular weights of 150,180,230, and 285 kd in the dermal extract. In contrast to paraneoplastic pemphigus, the intercellular antibodies did not react to mammalian bladder. The intercellular antibodies were of the IgM class and were associated with the paraprotein produced by the malignant B cells.

Conclusions.—  We believe that this condition represents a novel bullous disease, which we refer to as paraneoplastic mixed bullous disease. This condition illustrates that distinct bullous diseases are associated with paraneoplastic syndromes and that at least one possible mechanism for such eruptions is the production of anti-skin antibodies by malignant B cells.(Arch Dermatol. 1993;129:870-875)