• Pemphigus vulgaris and bullous pemphigoid of the upper aerodigestive tract: a review article and novel approaches to management

      Hussain, Mohammed Hassan; Tanwir, Faiz; Sakagiannis, Georgios; Mair, Manish; Mahmood, Sara; Ashokkumar, Sithamparappillai (2021)
      Background: Autoimmune bullous diseases are rare conditions characterized by blistering of the skin and mucous membranes. The 2 commonest forms are pemphigus vulgaris and bullous pemphigoid. The oral cavity or oropharynx may be the initial site of presentation or often the only site involved. Summary: These conditions are often misdiagnosed or overlooked leading to poorer patient outcomes. Due to the chronic nature of these conditions and the systemic effects of treatment, there is a significant associated morbidity and mortality. As such, an understanding of the fundamentals of autoimmune bullous diseases is vital to those working in otolaryngology. The mainstay of management in both conditions is topical and systemic corticosteroids. There is also a role for immunomodulating and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as adjunct or alternative therapies. Surgical intervention may be required to protect the airway. Often multimodality treatment is required involving multidisciplinary input from otolaryngologists, oral surgeons, dermatologists, and rheumatologists. This review article will highlight the aetiology, pathology, clinical features, investigations, and management of both pemphigus vulgaris and bullous pemphigoid including recent advances in management.