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May 2009

The Value of Desmoglein 1 and 3 Antibody ELISA Testing in Patients With Pemphigus

Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(5):585-587. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2009.50

The goal of clinical research is to answer questions that affect the way in which we care for our patients. This process involves studying data from large numbers of patients with a particular disease and then applying the conclusions to an individual patient. The path of this deductive journey is fraught with many land mines. We must identify these obstacles and continue forward to make the conclusions as applicable as possible to our patient. The work by Abasq et al1 from Rouen University Hospital in France has assessed the predictive values of anti–desmoglein 1 and 3 (Dsg1 and Dsg3) antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) values for the occurrence of relapses in the management of pemphigus. This work has provided significant answers that help the practitioner in treating a patient with pemphigus. Predictably, it has created new questions. In this editorial, I review the basic questions that exist regarding the clinical uses of pemphigus serum antibody tests and assess how our current understanding of these questions affects the care of the individual patient. Lastly, I review how the work by Abasq et al has helped answer these questions.

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