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December 1959

Epidermolysis Bullosa Acquisita (Tardive) and Porphyria Cutanea Tarda: An Analytic Comparison of These Two Conditions

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco.

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(6):713-724. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560240065008

Epidermolysis bullosa is generally considered an inherited process beginning early in life, characterized by bulla formation and by erosions of the skin secondary to minor trauma. Occasionally this symptom complex begins in adulthood with no pertinent familial background. A few of these cases of the so-called tardive or acquired form apparently follow severe drug reactions.1,2 More commonly, however, the syndrome is found with porphyria cutanea tarda.3-5 The differentiation of the idiopathic acquired variety and that associated with porphyria may lead to some diagnostic confusion. We have recently had an opportunity to study concurrently a case of idiopathic epidermolysis bullosa acquisita with no associated familial or toxic background, and a patient with porphyria cutanea tarda. It is the purpose of our report to compare these two patients, not only to establish differentiating features, but if possible to shed some light on the mechanism or mechanisms