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      Evaluation of early and late presentation of patients with ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid to two major tertiary referral hospitals in the United Kingdom


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          Ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid (OcMMP) is a sight-threatening autoimmune disease in which referral to specialists units for further management is a common practise. This study aims to describe referral patterns, disease phenotype and management strategies in patients who present with either early or established disease to two large tertiary care hospitals in the United Kingdom.

          Patients and Methods

          In all, 54 consecutive patients with a documented history of OcMMP were followed for 24 months. Two groups were defined: (i) early-onset disease (EOD:<3years, n=26, 51 eyes) and (ii) established disease (EstD:>5years, n=24, 48 eyes). Data were captured at first clinic visit, and at 12 and 24 months follow-up. Information regarding duration, activity and stage of disease, visual acuity (VA), therapeutic strategies and clinical outcome were analysed.


          Patients with EOD were younger and had more severe conjunctival inflammation (76% of inflamed eyes) than the EstD group, who had poorer VA (26.7%=VA<3/60, P<0.01) and more advanced disease. Although 40% of patients were on existing immunosuppression, 48% required initiation or switch to more potent immunotherapy. In all, 28% (14) were referred back to the originating hospitals for continued care. Although inflammation had resolved in 78% (60/77) at 12 months, persistence of inflammation and progression did not differ between the two phenotypes. Importantly, 42% demonstrated disease progression in the absence of clinically detectable inflammation.


          These data highlight that irrespective of OcMMP phenotype, initiation or escalation of potent immunosuppression is required at tertiary hospitals. Moreover, the conjunctival scarring progresses even when the eye remains clinically quiescent. Early referral to tertiary centres is recommended to optimise immunosuppression and limit long-term ocular damage.

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          Most cited references40

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          The first international consensus on mucous membrane pemphigoid: definition, diagnostic criteria, pathogenic factors, medical treatment, and prognostic indicators.

          We aimed to develop consensus-based recommendations for streamlining medical communication among various health care professionals, to improve accuracy of diagnosis and treatment, and to facilitate future investigations for mucous membrane pemphigoid. Because of the highly specific nature of this group of diseases, the 26 invited participants included either international scholars in the field of mucous membrane pemphigoid or experts in cutaneous pharmacology representing the 3 medical disciplines ophthalmology, oral medicine, and dermatology. The first author (L.S.C.) conducted a literature search. Based on the information obtained, international experts who had contributed to the literature in the clinical care, diagnosis, and laboratory investigation for mucous membrane pemphigoid were invited to participate in a consensus meeting aimed at developing a consensus statement. A consensus meeting was convened and conducted on May 10, 1999, in Chicago, Ill, to discuss the relevant issues. The first author drafted the statement based on the consensus developed at the meeting and the participants' written comments. The draft was submitted to all participants for 3 separate rounds of review, and disagreements were reconciled based on literature evidence. The third and final statement incorporated all relevant evidence obtained in the literature search and the consensus developed by the participants. The final statement was approved and endorsed by all 26 participants. Specific consensus-based recommendations were made regarding the definition, diagnostic criteria, pathogenic factors, medical treatment, and prognostic indicators for mucous membrane pemphigoid. A system of standard reporting for these patients was proposed to facilitate a uniform data collection.
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            Mucous membrane pemphigoid and pseudopemphigoid.

            To describe the clinical characteristics of patients with mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) and pseudopemphigoid. Retrospective cohort study. Two hundred eighty consecutive patients referred for the evaluation of possible ocular MMP from January 1, 1985, to December 31, 2001. Information on patients presenting for evaluation of possible MMP was entered prospectively into a database, which was supplemented by a retrospective chart review. Mucous membrane pemphigoid was diagnosed in patients with a compatible clinical picture by the linear deposition of antibodies to the basement membrane zone (BMZ) on direct immunofluorescent analysis of a mucous membrane biopsy specimen or by the presence of circulating autoantibodies to epithelial BMZ. Demographic and clinical characteristics of MMP and pseudopemphigoid; risk of ocular MMP among patients presenting with extraocular MMP without ocular disease. Among patients with ocular MMP, extraocular disease was common (82.4% of patients). The risk of ocular involvement among patients with MMP seen without ocular disease was approximately 5% per year over the first 5 years of follow-up (cumulative risk at 5 years, 22%). Although immunohistologic confirmation of the diagnosis was obtained in all patients, the initial conjunctival biopsy was positive for MMP in 80% of the patients diagnosed with ocular MMP. The most frequent presumed causes of pseudopemphigoid were topical glaucoma medications (28.3%), rosacea blepharoconjunctivitis (20.0%), atopic keratoconjunctivitis (8.3%), and conjunctival lichen planus (8.3%). Patients with ocular MMP typically have other systemic manifestations of MMP. Patients who are initially seen with extraocular MMP without ocular involvement are at risk for ocular disease developing. The clinical characteristics of ocular MMP and pseudopemphigoid are similar; therefore, immunohistologic evaluation of biopsied tissue is needed to confirm the diagnosis of MMP.
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              Immunosuppressive therapy for ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid strategies and outcomes.

              To evaluate the effectiveness and toxicity of a stepladder immunosuppression strategy, including the use of mycophenolate mofetil and combination therapy, in the treatment of ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid. Retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series. Two hundred twenty-three eyes of 115 patients. Patients with a diagnosis of ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid commencing immunosuppression between January 1994 and July 2005 were identified. A treatment episode was defined by the use of a particular therapy or combination of therapies. For each treatment episode, success of immunosuppressive therapy in controlling ocular inflammation was graded as a success (S), qualified success (QS), or failure (F). Initial and final visual acuities (VAs), stage of cicatrization (Foster, Mondino), grade of conjunctival inflammation, and side effects were recorded. In 70% (80/115) of patients, inflammation was controlled by the end of the study. At least 6 months remission off treatment occurred in 16 patients (14%). Of the 388 treatment episodes, 50% were classified as S; 27%, QS; and 23%, F. The most successful therapies were based on cyclophosphamide (S, 69%; QS, 21%; F, 10%), followed by mycophenolate (S, 59%; QS, 22%; F, 19%), azathioprine (S, 47%; QS, 24%; F, 29%), dapsone (S, 47%; QS, 30%; F, 23%), and sulfapyridine (S, 38%; QS, 27%; F, 35%). Combination sulfa-steroid-myelosuppressive agent therapy increased the response from 73% with single-agent therapy to 87%. Side effects were the reason for 29% of changes in therapy. These were most prominent with azathioprine (40%) and least with mycophenolate (15%). Initial best-corrected VA (BCVA) was 6/60 or less in 17% (37/223) of eyes, pemphigoid being the cause in 13% (29/223). Final BCVA was 6/60 or less in 34% (76/223) of eyes, pemphigoid being the cause in 26% (57/223). By the end of the study, Mondino stage cicatrization had progressed in 41% (92/223) of eyes and 53% (61/115) of patients. Mycophenolate mofetil seems to be an effective and well-tolerated immunosuppressant for moderately active ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid. Combination sulfa-steroid-myelosuppressive agent therapy in a stepladder regimen is a useful strategy to improve disease control. Cicatrization and VA may still progress and worsen despite adequate control of inflammation.

                Author and article information

                Eye (Lond)
                Nature Publishing Group
                September 2011
                29 July 2011
                1 September 2011
                : 25
                : 9
                : 1207-1218
                [1 ]simpleAcademic Unit of Ophthalmology, School of Immunity and Infection, University of Birmingham, Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre , Birmingham, UK
                [2 ]simpleNIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS, Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology , London, UK
                [3 ]simpleWellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Queen Elizabeth Hospital , Birmingham, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]simpleAcademic Unit of Ophthalmology, School of Immunity and Infection, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre , Dudley Road, Birmingham B18 7QU, UK. Tel +44(0)121 507 6849; Fax: +44(0)121 507 6853; E-mail: s.rauz@ 123456bham.ac.uk
                Copyright © 2011 Royal College of Ophthalmologists

                This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

                : 26 October 2010
                : 01 February 2011
                Clinical Study

                Vision sciences
                conjunctival scarring,immunosuppression,cicatrising conjunctivitis,progression
                Vision sciences
                conjunctival scarring, immunosuppression, cicatrising conjunctivitis, progression


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