Article

Improvement of renal function in epidermolysis bullosa patients after gluten free diet: Two cases

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Abstract

Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a rare inherited genetic disease characterized by an abnormal response of the skin and mucosa to mechanical trauma. Dystrophic EB (DEB) is very often associated with many extra cutaneous complications. Those complications involve either epithelial associated tissues or other organs. In particular, several renal complications have been described for DEB in the recessive form, such as amyloidosis, post-infection glomerulonephritis, upper and lower urinary tract obstruction and IgA-Nephropathy (IgAN). In the cases reported below we have two patients diagnosed with DEB that showed compromised renal function and proteinuria. The switch of the normal diet toward a gluten free diet resulted beneficial for both patients, since renal function was rescued and proteinuria cured. Moreover, a general health status improvement was recognised, given that nutritional condition was ameliorated and bone growing enhanced. Furthermore, in both patients the presence of autoantibodies anti-COL7 indicating an autoimmune form of the disease. Therefore, patients received low doses of betametasone useful to reduce inflammatory state and to control immune system function. In conclusion, our results prompt us to hypothesized that in these patients, due to the fragility of the intestinal mucosa, the absence in the diet of gluten may be beneficial.

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... Several lines of evidence seem to support this hypothesis. First, some cases of EB are complicated by autoimmune extracutaneous diseases [6][7][8][9][10][11]. Moreover, in several patients with EB, high levels of anti-skin antibodies, proportional to the severity of the disease, could be found [12,13]. ...
... Moreover, in humans with EB, several autoimmune diseases can develop. Gastrointestinal and renal immune-mediated complications have been widely described, including celiac disease, amyloidosis, post-infectious glomerulonephritis and IgA nephropathy [6][7][8][9][10]. Finally, in acquired EB, inflammatory bowel diseases have been described in approximately 30% of cases [20]. ...
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In order to evaluate the serum anti-skin autoantibodies and cytokine concentrations in patients with different epidermolysis bullosa (EB) types and severity, 42 EB patients and 38 controls were enrolled. Serum anti-skin antibodies were significantly higher in the patients than in the controls (p = 0.008, p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p < 0.001 and p < 0.001 for desmoglein 1 (DSG1) desmoglein 3 (DSG3), bullous pemphigoid 180 (BP180), BP230 and type VII collagen (COL7), respectively). The same trend was observed for interleukin (IL)-1?, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-?, and interferon-? (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p = 0.008, p < 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). Increases in anti-skin antibodies and cytokine concentrations were higher in patients with recessive dystrophic EB than in those with different types of EB, in generalized cases than in localized ones, and in patients with higher Birmingham Epidermolysis Bullosa Severity (BEBS) scores than in those with a lower score. The BEBS score was directly correlated with BP180, BP230, COL7 (p = 0.015, p = 0.008 and p < 0.001, respectively) and IL-6 (p = 0.03), whereas IL-6 appeared significantly associated with DSG1, DSG3, BP180, BP230 and COL7 (p = 0.015, p = 0.023, p = 0.023, p = 0.015 and p = 0.005, respectively). This study showed that autoimmunity and inflammatory responses are frequently activated in EB, mainly in severe forms, suggesting the use of immunosuppressive drugs or biologicals that are active against pro-inflammatory cytokines to reduce clinical signs and symptoms of disease.
... Moreover, immune-mediated complications and disease pathology have been described in EB patients, including celiac disease, amyloidosis, post-infectious glomerulonephritis, and IgA nephropathy [34][35][36][37]. Among cutaneous disease, a few reported cases of autoantibodies causing concurrent AIBD in patients with inherited EB include: EBA in a patient with dominant DEB [20], EBA in a patient with recessive DEB [38], and BP in a patient with JEB [39] (Table 3). ...
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Gene therapy serves as a promising therapy in the pipeline for treatment of epidermolysis bullosa (EB). However, with great promise, the risk of autoimmunity must be considered. While EB is a group of inherited blistering disorders caused by mutations in various skin proteins, autoimmune blistering diseases (AIBD) have a similar clinical phenotype and are caused by autoantibodies targeting skin antigens. Often, AIBD and EB have the same protein targeted through antibody or mutation, respectively. Moreover, EB patients are also reported to carry anti-skin antibodies of questionable pathogenicity. It has been speculated that activation of autoimmunity is both a consequence and cause of further skin deterioration in EB due to a state of chronic inflammation. Herein, we review the factors that facilitate the initiation of autoimmune and inflammatory responses to help understand the pathogenesis and therapeutic implications of the overlap between EB and AIBD. These may also help explain whether corrections of highly immunogenic portions of protein through gene therapy confers a greater risk towards developing AIBD.
... [4][5][6] Secondary HLH is also termed as macrophage activation syndrome, which complicates the course of primary illness and can be fatal. [7] Family history of HLH was not present in our patient; but since it has autosomal recessive inheritance, history may not be available in familial cases. Familial or primary HLH also can be triggered by infection and it may be difficult to differentiate primary from secondary HLH in many instances unless genetic analysis is done. ...
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Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a potentially fatal hyper inflammatory condition, which occurs as either primary (genetic) or secondary (acquired) due to impaired or absent function of natural killer cells and cytotoxic cells. Common secondary causes include viral and bacterial infections, autoimmune diseases, and hematological malignancies. Extensive phagocytosis of blood cells by histiocytes in bone marrow, spleen, liver and lymphnodes result in peripheral blood cytopenias, hepatosplenomegaly, and lymphadenopathy. We evaluated a case of pyrexia of unknown origin and found out that he fulfilled the criteria for diagnosing HLH. He was started on immunochemotherapy with etoposide, cyclosporine and steroids, but he succumbed to illness within 2 weeks of treatment. High index of suspicion is needed to diagnose HLH and prompt treatment on diagnosis can be lifesaving.
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Inherited epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of rare diseases characterized by skin and mucous membrane fragility. EB primarily involves the skin and, in specific subtypes, the mucous membrane, resulting in complications which can strongly affect nutritional status (e.g. gastrointestinal complications, hand deformities, pain). The aims of nutritional support mainly include improving nutritional status, alleviating the stress of oral feeding and minimizing nutritional deficiencies, thus consequently improving growth, pubertal development, bowel function, immune status and wound healing. The aim of this review is to discuss knowledge of different aspects of the disease related to nutrition and growth. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism
Article
Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a rare disorder characterized by inherited skin adhesion defects with abnormal disruption of the epidermal-dermal junction in response to mechanical trauma. Our aim was to investigate a set of cytokine levels in serum samples from patients suffering from epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB), and healthy controls (HCs), exploring their potential correlations with antiskin autoantibody titers and disease activity. Forty patients afferent to the Dermatological Ward of Bari City Hospital and 9 HCs were enrolled and subdivided according to the dystrophic (DEB) and simplex forms (EBS). We found a significant increase in interleukin (IL)-1β plasmatic levels of DEB (P = 0.0224) and EBS (P = 0.0465) patients compared to HCs; IL-6 levels were significantly higher in DEB than in EBS patients (P = 0.0004) or HCs (P = 0.0474); IL-2 levels were significantly increased in DEB compared with EBS (P = 0.0428). Plasmatic tumor necrosis factor-β and interferon-γ were higher in DEB patients than in HCs (P = 0.0448 and 0.0229). Conversely, tumor necrosis factor-α was significantly decreased in DEB (P = 0.0034). IL-5 correlated with anti-BP180 (r = -0.5018, P = 0.0338), anti-BP230 (r = -0.6097, P = 0.0122), and anticollagen VII (r = -0.5166, P = 0.0405) autoantibodies; interferon-γ correlated with anti-BP180 (r = 0.9633, P < 0.0001), anti-BP230 (r = 0.9071, P < 0.0001), and anticollagen VII (r = 0.8619, P = 0.0045) autoantibodies. Score of disease severity was significantly correlated with IL-6 (r = 0.6941, P = 0.029) and IL-12 (r = 0.5503, P = 0.0272). The present study supports that EB might be considered a systemic inflammatory disease rather than a skin-limited disorder; clinical disease activity scores could be also integrated by laboratory data such as IL-6 and IL-12 dosage; biotherapies targeting specific cytokine networks probably represent a way to go in the future.
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Bullous skin diseases are characterized by genetic abnormalities related to structural epidermal proteins or organ-specific autoantibodies against the same proteins and are revealed by blister formation on skin or mucous membranes, with differences in blister depth, morphology, and topography. Both inherited and autoimmune forms of these disorders can be framed in the context of epidermolysis bullosa. Their clinical spectrum varies from early lethal to mild variants with normal life expectancy, and several distinct phenotypes differ for age of onset, extent, location and depth of skin and mucous lesions, or scarring severity. Recently, different inflammatory processes blended with autoimmune phenomena have been demonstrated in both inherited and acquired epidermolysis bullosa, revealing that this overlapping might cause substantial implications in terms of disease course and outcome. Although several associations between epidermolysis bullosa in its different variants and autoimmune diseases have been reported, it is not yet completely clear how it happens and why this association occurs in only some patients. Autoantibodies are the primary cause of the disease in acquired epidermolysis bullosa, whereas they can be produced as a secondary event due to genetically determined skin damage in inherited epidermolysis bullosa, contributing significantly to the worsening of the disease. The awareness of this overlap may help in identifying new therapeutic approaches with immunosuppressive drugs that could have a significant impact in terms of prognosis.
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Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a term used to represent a group of conditions characterised by cutaneous blistering due to abnormalities of ultrastructural components anchoring epithelial cells to either each other or to the basement membrane.1–3 There are a range of subtypes, which were traditionally classified on the basis of the level of the epidermal separation, more recently delineated on the basis of the underlying genetic defect.4 The vast majority of the clinical literature in these conditions is based around the cutaneous complications. There is a reported association between some subtypes of epidermolysis bullosa and pyloric stenosis,4 but there are no previous reports of mucosal histopathological features, despite these patients sometimes exhibiting significant gastrointestinal symptoms. We report the gastrointestinal mucosal histopathological features in a series of patients with epidermolysis bullosa who underwent endoscopic evaluation for gastrointestinal symptoms at a single specialist centre. Since 2003 it has been our policy to investigate all children seen in the epidermolysis bullosa clinic with significant abdominal symptoms by upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopic examination with mucosal biopsies. During this three-year period, all cases that underwent endoscopic examination with this indication were identified. The findings at the time of endoscopy were reviewed in addition to other clinical …
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Background The Hallopeau-Siemens type of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (HS-RDEB) is a severe hereditary dermatosis, associated with a collagen VII deficiency. A chronic inflammatory syndrome, secondary to recurrent cutaneous infections, may be the cause of AA amyloidosis, with chronic renal failure, involving life prognosis. Less frequently, an IgA glomerulonephritis may occur and induce renal failure. Only two cases have been previously described. We report herein four new cases.Case reportWe report four cases of HS-RDEB associated with IgA glomerulonephritis. A renal biopsy confirmed the diagnosis in all four cases. Later on, two patients had a second renal biopsy, indicated for deterioration of renal function. One of these patients showed AA type renal amyloidosis on the second biopsy. None of these six biopsies, conducted in our four patients led to local cutaneous complications. Subsequently three patients presented with terminal renal failure. Hemodialysis was set up, with good tolerance and improvement in quality of life.DiscussionIgA glomerulonephritis should be suspected if a patient with HS-RDEB presents with hematuria. Renal biopsy is not contraindicated, confirms the diagnosis and helps to specify the prognosis. Hemodialysis is possible and well tolerated in the terminal stage of renal failure. There is not enough evidence for a genetic link between HS-RDEB and IgA glomerulonephritis, but repeated skin infections may be involved in the pathophysiology of the renal disease.
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Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a family of rare, heterogeneous, genetic disorders characterized by fragility of the skin and mucous membranes. Reduced bone mass and fractures have been recognized as complications of generalized forms of EB. We sought to describe the range and to estimate the prevalence of low bone mass in children with generalized EB, and to identify correlates of low bone mass in this population. This was a prospective, observational study of 24 patients with generalized EB. Each patient completed a history, physical examination, laboratory studies, bone age, and x-rays of the lumbar spine. Those aged 6 years and older underwent dual energy x-ray absorptiometry scans of the lumbar spine. Primary outcomes were areal bone mineral density (aBMD) based on chronologic age, bone age, and adjusted for height Z-score. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize results, and linear regression was used to determine factors associated with low aBMD. Mean lumbar spine aBMD Z-scores ± SD were: -2.6 ± 1.4 for chronologic age, -1.7 ± 1.3 for bone age, and -1.0 ± 1.2 after adjusting for height Z-score. aBMD Z-scores were less than or equal to -2 in 64% for chronologic age, 50% for bone age, and 28% after adjusting for height Z-score. aBMD correlated with height Z-score, weight Z-score, extensive blistering, immobility, albumin, hemoglobin, iron, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and c-reactive protein values. Small sample size was a limitation. Children with severe, generalized recessive dystrophic EB have low aBMD for age. Deficits in aBMD were reduced after adjusting for delayed skeletal maturation and small body size.
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Type VII collagen (COL7) is a major constituent of the cutaneous basement membrane. Loss of tolerance to COL7 leads to the blistering skin disease epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (EBA). Antibodies to COL7 have also been detected in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), yet reports on the expression of COL7 in the gut are controversial and a pathogenic relevance of anti-COL7 autoantibodies in IBD has not been demonstrated. We therefore characterized the expression patterns of COL7 in murine gastrointestinal organs and investigated if anti-COL7 antibodies induce an inflammatory response in the gut. COL7 expression was analysed on the mRNA and protein levels. Mice were injected with rabbit anti-murine COL7 IgG (passive EBA) or immunized with a fragment of murine COL7 (active EBA). COL7 was found to be expressed in buccal mucosa, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. In addition to skin blistering, in both passive and active EBA, autoantibodies bound to the gastrointestinal basement membrane, fixed complement, and led to recruitment of leukocytes. Furthermore, blister formation was observed in the oesophagus (40%/38% of mice in passive/active model), stomach (40%/63%), small intestine (20%/13%), and colon (20%/13%). Compared to control animals, we found a significantly reduced body weight in diseased mice, suggesting that autoantibody-induced gastrointestinal inflammation is clinically relevant. Those observations may help us to understand the co-incidence of IBD with EBA, and vice versa: The inflammatory response in IBD might expose novel antigens (COL7), which leads to the formation of anti-COL7 antibodies. On the contrary, anti-COL7 antibody-induced gastrointestinal inflammation might pave the way for IBD pathogenesis. In summary, our results provide strong evidence that COL7 is expressed in different portions of the gut and that anti-COL7 antibodies induce distinct gastrointestinal tissue damage.
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Epidermolysis bullosa is a group of inherited, chronic, non-inflammatory skin disorders, and dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) is one of the most severe variants. The role of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) has not been reported in the pathogenesis of DEB. A DEB case is reported that appears to have responded well to the TNFalpha inhibitor etanercept given for the treatment of concomitant psoriatic arthritis. A progressive improvement in DEB was apparent over the first 3 months of treatment and persistent good control of DEB was noted over 3 years of therapy. A correlation between DEB improvement and etanercept has not been made, but the case may provide insight into the causal mechanisms of DEB.
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It is well known, primarily via case reports and limited case series, that nonepithelial tissues may become injured in patients with epidermolysis bullosa. Only recently, however, have there been data generated from large, well characterized cohorts. Our objective is to provide dermatologists with a comprehensive review of each of these major extracutaneous complications, with a summary of the pertinent literature and evidence-based recommendations for surveillance, evaluation, and management. Some epidermolysis bullosa subtypes are at risk for severe injury of the bone marrow, musculoskeletal system, heart, kidney, and teeth, and for the development of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, or malignant melanoma. If untreated, significant morbidity or mortality may result.
Article
Based upon case reports and small case series, it has been known for many years that some types and subtypes of inherited epidermolysis bullosa (EB) may be at risk for developing one or more extracutaneous complications. Many of these are associated with considerable morbidity; some may result in death. Only over the past few years have there been data generated from large, well characterized cohorts. However, these data, to date, have been published almost exclusively in the nondermatologic literature. Our objective is to provide dermatologists with a comprehensive review of each major extracutaneous complication with a summary of the pertinent literature and recommendations for evaluation and optimal management. Part I highlights epithelial associated tissues, and part II addresses other organs. Based on these reviews, the readership should gain a greater understanding of the types of complications that may occur, when they are most likely to develop, and the range of medical and surgical interventions that are currently available. It should also be possible for the reader to develop surveillance strategies based on an understanding of the published evidence-based data. The breadth and range of severity of complications that arise in some EB types and subtypes within the external eye, ear, nose, upper airway, and gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts suggest that optimal management must be multidisciplinary. Given the unique knowledge that dermatologists have of this disease, we believe that the care of the EB patient should be under the direction of his or her dermatologist, who can best assist in timely referrals to those specialists who are most experienced in the care of specific extracutaneous problems.
Article
In an uncontrolled study a gluten-free diet was given to 29 patients affected by primary IgA nephropathy (IgAGN). All of them followed the diet for 6 months, 23 patients for 1 year and 9 for 2 to 4 years. Mean levels of IgA containing circulating immune complexes (IgAIC), detected by a specific conglutinin assay and by measuring IgA content in 2.5% polyethylene glycol precipitates, on an unrestricted diet, significantly decreased after 6 months of gluten-free diet (p less than 0.01) and remained reduced during the follow-up. A decrease in IgAIC levels was evident in 85.7% of the cases with basal positive data, with complete normalization in 64.3% of them. IgA to gluten antigens (ethanol- or saline-soluble gliadin, glutenin and the lectin fraction termed glyc-gli) as well as to heterologous bovine and egg albumins were found to be significantly increased on an unrestricted diet in the group of 14 IgAGN patients with basal positive IgAIC. The mean levels of IgA to most dietary antigens significantly decreased after 6 months to 1 year of a gluten-free diet. A decrease in IgA to ethanol-soluble gliadin was evident in 81.8% of the cases with basal positive data, with complete normalization in 63.6%. A subgroup of 27.5% of IgAGN patients showed positive IgAIC values associated with increased IgA values to a variety of dietary antigens. A gluten-free diet induced in 75% of the cases a parallel improvement in these abnormal immunological data. Mean proteinuria values were found to be significantly decreased after 6 months of the diet and a reduction was also observed in microscopic hematuria. However, mean blood creatinine levels showed a significant increase after the gluten-free diet. The data of this study indicate that a gluten-free diet can modify some immunological abnormalities in a group of IgAGN patients, reducing levels of IgAIC and IgA to dietary antigens. The clinical course does not seem to be favorably influenced, since a relentless progression towards renal failure was observed.
Article
To examine the possibility that differences in the structure and population density of anchoring fibrils (AF) and other components of the dermal-epidermal junction might distinguish between genetically and clinically distinct varieties of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB), a controlled ultrastructural morphometric study of nonseparated keratinocyte-associated dermal-epidermal junction was undertaken in a total of 17 patients with DEB. Seven patients had dominant DEB, 3 had localized recessive DEB, and 7 had severe, generalized recessive DEB. Nonlesional, unscarred skin was obtained from standard body regions. Criteria for the identification of AF were a mandatory union with the lamina densa and the presence of central banding and/or fanning of the extremities. No AF were detected in 9 technically suitable samples from patients with severe recessive DEB. Structurally normal AF were present, but significantly reduced in number, in both dominant and localized recessive DEB, compared with site-matched samples from 12 healthy adults. There was no difference in AF characteristics between dominant and localized recessive DEB, or between sites of predilection and nonpredilection for blisters. The presence or absence of albopapuloid lesions in dominant DEB did not influence AF counts. There was no difference in numbers of hemidesmosomes, basal cell plasmalemmal vesicles, or dermal microfibril bundles in any group of DEB patients compared with controls. Thus, although severe mutilating DEB can be distinguished by routine transmission electron microscopy, the dominant and localized recessive forms cannot be differentiated on the basis of AF structure or numbers.
Article
Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) represents a group of genodermatoses characterized by fragility and easy blistering of the skin. In the dystrophic forms of EB, blisters occur below the basement membrane of the skin, at the level of the anchoring fibrils. We have recently demonstrated tight genetic linkage between the type VII collagen gene (COL7A1) and both the dominant and recessive forms of dystrophic EB. We searched for mutations in dominant dystrophic EB by PCR amplification of genomic segments of COL7A1, followed by heteroduplex analysis. Examination of the PCR fragment corresponding to exon 73 of COL7A1 revealed a marked shift in the electrophoretic pattern in patients from a large Finnish dominant dystrophic EB family with genetic linkage to the COL7A1 locus (Z = 5.37, theta = 0). Sequence analysis revealed a G-->A transition at nucleotide 6118 in the triple helical domain of COL7A1, which converted a glycine residue to a serine (GGT-->AGT). This mutation occurs between interruptions 11 and 12 of the triple helix, in the seventh of a series of 24 uninterrupted Gly-Xaa-Yaa repeats. Pathogenetic glycine substitutions that disrupt the triple helix have been shown to exert a deleterious effect on the protein in several other disorders involving collagen genes. The clinical phenotype in this family probably arises due to a dominant negative mutation in type VII collagen, resulting in the formation of structurally abnormal anchoring fibrils.
Article
As part of the U.K. National Epidermolysis Bullosa Register, we have systematically recorded clinical information on 130 (77%) of the 168 known Scottish epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) sufferers. Three subtypes of EBS were recognized: Dowling-Meara (EBS-DM), Weber-Cockayne (EBS-WC) and Köbner (EBS-Kb), seen in 5%, 42% and 53% of patients, respectively. As there is considerable overlap between EBS-WC and EBS-Kb, with both phenotypes frequently seen within the same pedigree, EBS-WC is best regarded as a milder variant of EBS-Kb rather than a separate disorder. Improvement with age is common in all variants of EBS, but is not invariable. Pain due to acral blistering in EBS-Kb/EBS-WC has a more marked impact on life-style than the blisters of EBS-DM. Oral blistering, nail involvement and aplasia cutis congenita occur in all EBS subtypes and laryngeal involvement is a feature of EBS-DM. Seasonal variation is not seen in EBS-DM but is common in EBS-Kb/EBS-WC.
Article
Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) is a genodermatosis resulting from mutations in COL7A1, the gene encoding type VII collagen. The site and specific nature of the underlying mutation determine the clinical phenotype, which ranges widely from a severe mutilating condition to a relatively mild disorder. To document the clinical spectrum of DEB within a defined complete population. Since 1992, when compilation of the U.K. epidermolysis bullosa register began, an exhaustive search for DEB sufferers within the Scottish population has been undertaken and their clinical features comprehensively recorded. One hundred and twenty-eight DEB sufferers have been identified within the Scottish population. In descending order, the frequencies of the different forms of DEB were dominant DEB (DDEB) in 88 individuals (68%), DEB of uncertain inheritance in 24 (19%) and recessive DEB (RDEB) in 16 patients (13%). Within this latter group, nine (7%) had the mutilating Hallopeau-Siemens subtype (RDEB-HS), five (4%) had localized (RDEB-loc) and two (2%) had a predominantly flexural (inverse) form of RDEB. During the study, two patients with RDEB died from squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), one originating in the skin and the second arising in the oesophagus. Gastrointestinal problems such as dysphagia, constipation and anal fissures, and restriction of mouth opening were experienced by the majority of patients with RDEB and by a significant minority of DDEB sufferers. Pseudosyndactyly was most severe in RDEB-HS, all those over 9 years of age having mitten deformities of the hands. Milder pseudosyndactyly or flexion contractures of the fingers were present in younger patients with this subtype, in most adults suffering from other subtypes of RDEB and in 6% of those with DDEB. External ear involvement, a feature not often reported in DEB, was common in RDEB and also occurred in a minority of those with DDEB. Pruriginous lesions and albopapuloid lesions were each present in both DDEB and RDEB. Most patients with DEB have relatively mild dominantly inherited disease, only a minority suffering from severe recessive subtypes. Scarring, gastrointestinal involvement, albopapuloid lesions and a pruriginosa-like pattern each occur in both DDEB and RDEB. With increasing age, SCC is a major cause of morbidity and mortality.
Article
Epidermolysis bullosa acquisita is an autoimmune blistering disease of the skin characterized by IgG autoantibodies against type VII collagen. Systemic diseases are often associated with epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, Crohn's disease being the most frequent. This study sought to determine if type VII collagen, the epidermolysis bullosa acquisita autoantigen, was present in normal human colon by western blotting and immunofluorescence. The 290 kDa type VII collagen alpha chain was demonstrated by western blotting in four normal intraoperative colon specimens. Antibodies to type VII collagen labeled the junction between the intestinal epithelium and the lamina propria. We also used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to test sera from patients with Crohn's disease (n = 19), ulcerative colitis (n = 31), celiac disease (n = 17), rheumatoid arthritis (n = 15), and normal controls (n = 16). It was found that 13 of 19 patients with Crohn's disease and four of 31 patients with ulcerative colitis demonstrated reactivity to type VII collagen. Sera from control subjects, patients with celiac disease or rheumatoid arthritis were negative. The sera from Crohn's disease patients also reacted with type VII collagen by immunoblot analysis. It was concluded that patients with inflammatory bowel disease may have IgG autoantibodies to type VII collagen, which exists in both the skin and the gut.
Article
The Hallopeau-Siemens type of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (HS-RDEB) is a severe hereditary dermatosis, associated with a collagen VII deficiency. A chronic inflammatory syndrome, secondary to recurrent cutaneous infections, may be the cause of AA amyloidosis, with chronic renal failure, involving life prognosis. Less frequently, an IgA glomerulonephritis may occur and induce renal failure. Only two cases have been previously described. We report herein four new cases. We report four cases of HS-RDEB associated with IgA glomerulonephritis. A renal biopsy confirmed the diagnosis in all four cases. Later on, two patients had a second renal biopsy, indicated for deterioration of renal function. One of these patients showed AA type renal amyloidosis on the second biopsy. None of these six biopsies, conducted in our four patients led to local cutaneous complications. Subsequently three patients presented with terminal renal failure. Hemodialysis was set up, with good tolerance and improvement in quality of life. IgA glomerulonephritis should be suspected if a patient with HS-RDEB presents with hematuria. Renal biopsy is not contraindicated, confirms the diagnosis and helps to specify the prognosis. Hemodialysis is possible and well tolerated in the terminal stage of renal failure. There is not enough evidence for a genetic link between HS-RDEB and IgA glomerulonephritis, but repeated skin infections may be involved in the pathophysiology of the renal disease.
Article
Epidermolysis bullosa, a clinically and genetically diverse group of heritable mechanobullous disorders characterized by skin fragility in the cutaneous basement membrane zone, has become a prototype for the recent progress in molecular genetics of genodermatoses. The different forms of epidermolysis bullosa have been linked to mutations in no less than 10 distinct genes encoding the major structural basement membrane zone proteins. This information has formed a basis for refined molecular classification with prognostic implications, improved genetic counseling, and prenatal and preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
Article
Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) consists of a group of dominant or recessive autosomal diseases characterised by skin and mucosa fragility. The lesions leave erosions and scars that, in turn, can cause stenosis of tracheal, oesophageal, and genitourinary tract mucosae. The significantly increased survival of EB patients has determined the onset of complications never observed before, including genitourinary disorders such as hydroureteronephrosis, recurrent urinary tract infections, renal amyloidosis, IgA nephropathy and post-infectious glomerulonephritis. A 6-year-old boy diagnosed with recessive dystrophic EB Hallopeau-Siemens type (RDEB-HS) was referred to our clinic because of microhaematuria that evolved into intra-infectious macrohaematuria. Renal biopsy revealed an increase in both extracellular matrix and mesangial cells, with a focal segmental glomerulosclerosis with severe chronic tubulointerstitial damage. Immunofluorescence showed IgA mesangium deposits. Five years later, he was started on haemodialysis, because of worsening renal function. This is a rare case of a child with EB who was successfully treated with haemodialysis. The pertinent literature has been reviewed.
Article
Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a group of inherited disorders characterized by skin and mucous membrane fragility. Gastrointestinal (GI) complications have been described in many types of EB and are responsible for significant morbidity. To delineate the nature and frequency of GI complications in a large cohort of paediatric patients with EB and to postulate why some complications occur more commonly in some specific subtypes. The case notes of 223 children with EB seen at a national referral centre were examined retrospectively for the presence of GI symptoms, investigations and interventions. GI complications were present in 130/223 (58%) of all patients. In EB simplex, constipation and gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) were frequently observed. In junctional EB, failure to thrive and protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) were the prominent GI manifestations. Constipation was common in patients with dystrophic EB (DEB) requiring laxatives and in some cases fibre supplementation. GOR affected three-quarters of those with recessive DEB, two-thirds also having significant oesophageal strictures. Over half of patients with recessive DEB required gastrostomy insertion. Diarrhoea affected a small but significant proportion of children with recessive DEB with macroscopic and/or microscopic changes of colitis in the majority. GI problems in EB are very common with subtype specificity for some of these complications. The occurrence of diarrhoea, PLE and colitis in the context of EB has not been highlighted previously, and may arise secondarily to antigenic exposure in the gut lumen as a result of mucosal fragility.
Article
Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) is a rare and severe hereditary dermatosis. On the other hand, IgA nephropathy is the most common form of glomerulonephritis in childhood and adults, and clinically characterized by microhematuria and proteinuria and histologically by deposition of immunoglobulin A in mesangial lesions. Several renal complications of recessive DEB including IgA nephropathy and amyloidosis have been reported. However, there have been no reports on dominant DEB associated with IgA nephropathy. We report here for the first time a 17-year-old girl with dominant DEB associated with IgA nephropathy. The patient has suffered from episodes of urinary, upper airway, and skin infections. At 17 years of age, proteinuria and hematuria were detected, with a high value of serum IgA. Renal biopsy was performed, and immunofluorescence microscopic examination revealed segmental deposits of IgA in mesangial lesions, with many glomeruli exhibiting diffuse segmental mesangial-proliferative glomerulonephritis. We diagnosed dominant DEB associated with IgA nephropathy on the basis of proteinuria, hematuria, and deposits of IgA in mesangial lesions on immunofluorescence microscopic examination, and diffuse segmental mesangial-proliferative glomerulonephritis. These findings suggest that repeated skin infections might have contributed to the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy in this patient.
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