• Vol. 44 No. 4
  • 15 April 2015

Anti-BP180 NC16A IgG Titres as an Indicator of Disease Activity and Outcome in Asian Patients with Bullous Pemphigoid



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Introduction: Anti-BP180 IgG titres were observed to parallel disease activity in case series of bullous pemphigoid (BP). This study aimed to examine whether anti-BP180 titres are an indicator of disease severity, clinical course and outcome in Asian patients with BP

Materials and Methods: This was a prospective observational study conducted between March 2005 and March 2008 in the Immunodermatology Clinic at the National Skin Centre, Singapore. Disease activity and anti-BP180 IgG titres were measured 4-weekly for 12 weeks and during disease flares and clinical remission. Associations between anti-BP180 titres and disease activity, disease fl are, clinical remission and cumulative prednisolone dose were examined.

Results: Thirty-four patients with newly diagnosed BP were recruited. Median follow-up duration was 3 years. Notable correlations between disease activity and anti-BP180 titres were at baseline (r = 0.51, P = 0.002), and disease flare (r = 0.85, P <0.001). Lower titres at Week 12 were associated with greater likelihood of clinical remission (P = 0.036). Post hoc, patients with anti-BP180 titres above 87.5 U/mL at time of diagnosis who reached remission within 2 years of diagnosis received significantly higher cumulative doses (mg/kg) of prednisolone (median, 72.8; range, 56.5 to 127.1) than those with titres <87.5 U/mL (median, 44.6; range, 32.5 to 80.8); P = 0.025).

Conclusion: : Anti-BP180 titres may be a useful indicator of disease activity at time of diagnosis and at disease flare. Lower titres at Week 12 may predict greater likelihood of clinical remission. Titres above 87.5 U/mL at time of diagnosis may suggest the need for higher cumulative doses of prednisolone to achieve remission within 2 years.

Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is a subepidermal blistering dermatosis characterised by circulating autoantibodies targeting BP180 and BP230 hemidesmosomal proteins. Anti-BP180 NC16A IgG antibodies have been demonstrated to be directly pathogenic in blister formation. Anti-BP180 IgG titres were noted to parallel disease activity in several case series, as well as reflect disease control and disease activity in larger studies.11,12 However, there are limited data regarding how anti-BP180 IgG titres vary over time with treatment, and whether antibody titres can be used to predict disease flares, remission, and cumulative prednisolone dose received by BP patients.

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