Ocular involvement in pemphigus vulgaris

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Abstract

Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune disorder affecting the skin and mucous membranes. Ocular involvement in PV has been reported but its prevalence and clinical characteristics are not well defined. This prospective cross-sectional study of 103 PV patients was designed to determine the prevalence, clinical types and epidemiological trends of ocular involvement in a population of Iranian patients with PV. Ocular involvement was present in 17 (16.5%) patients. Conjunctivitis was the most prevalent type of ocular involvement (9/17, 52.9%), followed by erosion of the palpebral conjunctiva (7/17, 41.2%). Erosion of the bulbar conjunctiva was noted in only one patient (5.9%). The most commonly reported symptoms were eye irritation (76.5%) and redness (76.5%). No significant relation was found between ocular involvement and disease activity (partial remission or relapse). Mucoid discharge was significantly more common in patients with conjunctival erosions as compared to patients with conjunctivitis (P= 0.038). We conclude that ocular involvement is not rare in PV; 16.5% of PV patients develop ocular disease independent of the disease activity and extension. Conjunctivitis is the most common type of involvement, however, palpebral conjunctival erosion is more frequent than previously realized.

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