Leukocytoclastic vasculitis in association with linear epidermal basement membrane zone immunoglobulin deposition: Linear vasculitis.

TitleLeukocytoclastic vasculitis in association with linear epidermal basement membrane zone immunoglobulin deposition: Linear vasculitis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsMagro CM, Mo JH, Kerns MJo
JournalClin Dermatol
Date Published2022 Nov-Dec
KeywordsAntigen-Antibody Complex, Autoimmune Diseases, Basement Membrane, Dermatitis, Humans, Immunoglobulin G, Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic, Skin, Urticaria, Vasculitis, Vasculitis, Leukocytoclastic, Cutaneous

Cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis (LCV) has a distinctive clinical and light microscopic presentation; however, the etiologic basis of LCV is varied. Most cases are attributable to immune complex deposition within a vessel wall and represent an Arthus type III immune complex reaction. The prototypic immunoreactant profile is characterized by granular deposits of components of complement activation in concert with immunoglobulin within the cutaneous vasculature. We encountered nine patients with vasculitic and/or vesiculobullous clinical presentations exhibiting an LCV in association with an immunoreactant profile characterized by homogeneous linear deposits of immunoglobulin along the dermal epidermal junction in a fashion resembling an autoimmune vesiculobullous disease. Among the clinical presentations were palpable purpura, urticarial vasculitis, and vesiculobullous eruptions with supervening purpura. Two patients with Crohn disease presented with classic palpable purpura with biopsy-proven LCV, and direct immunofluorescence (DIF) studies demonstrated linear immunoglobulin G (IgG) with floor localization on the salt-split skin assay. Four patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) showed purpuric vesiculobullous lesions, with evidence of a neutrophilic interface dermatitis and LCV in three of the four. The remaining patient had urticarial nonbullous lesions showing small-vessel vasculitiswith a neutrophilic interface dermatitis. In all of the patients with SLE, DIF studies showed linear immunoglobulin deposits within the basement membrane zone (BMZ). These constellation of findings clinically, light microscopically, and by immunofluorescence were those of a vasculitic presentation of bullous systemic lupus erythematosus. Two patients had linear IgA disease, which was drug induced in one and paraneoplastic in the other, and the dominant morphology on biopsy in both cases was an LCV. One patient microscopically demonstrated drug-associated and eosinophilic enriched LCV with DIF studies showing striking linear deposits of IgG suggestive of bullous pemphigoid, which was consistent with a vasculitic presentation of drug-induced bullous pemphigoid. In all cases, typical granular vascular immunoglobulin and complement deposition compatible with immune complex mediated vasculitis was observed. It is likely that local immune complexes derived from BMZ antigen bound to antibody are pathogenically relevant. We propose the designation of linear vasculitis for this unique scenario of LCV and linear immunoglobulin epidermal BMZ staining, which in some cases represents a vasculitic presentation of conventional autoimmune vesiculobullous disease.

Alternate JournalClin Dermatol
PubMed ID35907580
Related Faculty: 
Cynthia M. Magro, M.D.

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