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The use of plasmapheresis and immunosuppression in the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris

Authors
Journal
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
0190-9622
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
43
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1067/mjd.2000.109297
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Background: Pemphigus vulgaris is an autoimmune blistering disease for which the mainstay of treatment is systemic corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. This therapy had reduced the mortality of pemphigus; however, it is associated with significant morbidity. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the group's experience with plasmapheresis in the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris and report on its utility. Methods: Seven patients with severe or resistant pemphigus vulgaris underwent a series of 5 plasma exchanges over an average of 8 days. Immunosuppressive drugs were administered immediately after plasmapheresis to prevent the “rebound” flare of disease that can occur after plasmapheresis. Results: Remission was induced in 4 patients, partial remission was induced in 2 patients, and 1 patient continues to have active disease. Conclusion: This study suggests that plasmapheresis is a useful intervention in patients with pemphigus vulgaris who are not responding to standard therapy or who require unacceptably high doses of steroids or immunosuppressants. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2000;43:1058-64.)

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