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Dermatology Online Journal

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Sublamina densa-type linear IgA bullous dermatosis with IgA autoantibodies specific for type VII collagen: a case report and clinicopathological review of 32 cases


Linear IgA bullous dermatosis (LABD) is a rare autoimmune bullous disorder characterized by linear deposits of IgA at the basement membrane zone(BMZ) and/or by circulating IgA anti-BMZ antibodies. Comparing with other immuno-bullous diseases, LABD represents a heterogeneous disease entitywith diversity of pathogenic IgA autoantibodies to different hemidesmosomal antigens and an association with malignancies and occasional drug use. We herein present an 82-year-old Japanese man with LABD, whose indirect immunofluorescence using 1M NaCl-split skin showed positive staining for IgA at the dermal side alone. Fluorescence overlay antigen mapping using laser scanning confocal microscopy (FOAM-LSCM) was employed to examine the in vivo bound patient’s IgA, which was specific for type VII collagen (COL7), a prominent antigen of the sublamina densa. One year later, he developed malignant lymphoma, suggesting the diagnosis of paraneoplastic LABD. We reviewed 32 cases of sublamina-densa type LABD with anti-COL7 IgA antibodies thus far reported in the literature to compare the clinicopathological characteristics of this rare disease variant and emphasize that COL7 is the main autoantigen in sublamina densa disease.

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