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Br J Dermatol. 1999 May;140(5):945-7.

Pemphigus vulgaris localized to the vagina presenting as chronic vaginal discharge.

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The Birmingham Skin Centre, City Hospital NHS Trust, Birmingham B18 7QH, U.K.


Involvement in pemphigus vulgaris of the female genital tract including the vulva, vagina and cervix has previously been described. In all these cases other cutaneous and mucosal sites have also been affected at some time. We describe a case of pemphigus vulgaris which only involved the vaginal mucosa. The patient presented with a persistent vaginal discharge and examination showed extensive vaginal erosions. Histology of vaginal biopsies was non-diagnostic. The recognition that the vaginal changes may represent an immunobullous disease led to further vaginal biopsies on which direct immunofluorescence studies were performed. These biopsies showed IgG and C3 in the intercellular epidermis, suggesting a diagnosis of pemphigus vulgaris. During the 3-year period that the patient has been under review there have never been any other cutaneous or mucosal lesions. To our knowledge, this is the first case of pemphigus vulgaris localized exclusively to the vaginal mucosa. There was considerable delay in diagnosis and this case highlights how important it is to recognize that chronic mucosal lesions at genital sites may be caused by immunobullous diseases such as cicatricial pemphigoid and pemphigus, and to institute appropriate investigations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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