Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid with granular IgA and complement deposition

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JAMA Opthalmology (Archives of Opthalmology)

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A 65-year-old woman developed chronic redness of both eyes, and, over the ensuing 2½ years, she had progressive conjunctival scarring with symblepharon formation. Other mucosal surfaces were not involved. A conjunctival biopsy specimen 12 months following onset of her disease showed areas of epithelial separation from the basement membrane zone as well as subepithelial chronic inflammation and scarring. Two years later, another conjunctival biopsy specimen showed granular deposition of IgA and C3 along the epithelial basement membrane zone using direct immunofluorescent staining. Electron microscopy confirmed the presence of deposits that were morphologically consistent with antigen-antibody complexes. These findings suggest that antigen-antibody (IgA) immune-complex deposition may provide an alternative pathogenetic mechanism to basement membrane zone autoantibody formation for development of progressive conjunctival scarring.

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