ABSTRACT: Oral health care providers may discover systemic diseases incidentally from signs observed in the oral cavity. Here, we report a case in which oral health care providers in a hospital discovered a patient with strongly suspected bullous pemphigoid (BP), which is a relatively rare but important disease, in a ward.
The patient was a 78-year-old Japanese woman admitted to our hospital because of severe Alzheimer's disease. We discovered recurrent ulcers in the oral mucosa and skin when performing oral care in her ward. Biopsy could not be performed safely because of involuntary biting. We performed blood tests for anti-BP180-NC16a antibody, which is autoantibody specific for BP.
The patient had a very high anti-BP180-NC16a antibody titre. We consulted a dermatologist regarding her clinical course and the clinical features of the oral mucosa and skin along with blood test results. BP was very strongly suspected.
In cases in which oral health care providers suspect their patients may have BP, appropriate examination and provision of information to the doctor are important. Oral health care providers should have knowledge about systemic diseases, the signs of which appear in oral cavity to avoid missing important systemic diseases.
International Journal of Dental Hygiene 03/2010; 9(2):159-62. · 0.87 Impact Factor