Your institution is subscribed to Read Institutional Edition. Log in or Sign Up to read full text articles.

Diffuse Bullous Eruptions in an Elderly Woman: Late-Onset Bullous Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Prajwal Boddu, Mojtaba Nadiri, Owais Malik
Case Reports in Dermatology 2016, 8 (3): 278-282
Vesiculobullous eruptions in the elderly represent a diverse range of varying pathophysiologies and can present a significant clinical dilemma to the diagnostician. Diagnosis requires a careful review of clinical history, attention to detail on physical and histomorphological examination, and appropriate immunofluorescence testing. We describe the case of a 73-year-old female who presented to our hospital with a painful blistering skin rash developed over 2 days. Examination of the skin was remarkable for numerous flaccid hemorrhagic bullae on a normal-appearing nonerythematous skin involving both the upper and lower extremities. Histopathology of the biopsy lesion showed interface change at the epidermo-dermal region with subepidermal blister formation, mild dermal fibrosis, and sparse interstitial neutrophilic infiltrate. Immunohistological analysis was significant for positive IgG basement membrane zone antibodies with a dermal pattern of localization on direct immunofluorescence and positive IgG antinuclear antibodies on indirect immunofluorescence. Evidence of antibodies to type VII collagen suggested the diagnosis of epidermolysis bullosa acquisita versus bullous systemic lupus erythematosus (BSLE). A diagnosis of BSLE was made based on positive American College of Rheumatology criteria, acquired vesiculo-bullous eruptions with compatible histopathological and immunofluorescence findings. This case illustrates one of many difficulties a physician encounters while arriving at a diagnosis from a myriad of immunobullous dermatoses. Also, it is important for internists and dermatologists alike to be aware of and differentiate this uncommon and nonspecific cutaneous SLE manifestation from a myriad of disorders presenting with vesiculobullous skin eruptions in the elderly.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.