The tools for diagnosis of epidermolysis bullosa have advanced greatly since Hintner's group introduced antigen mapping as a diagnostic test for this family of genodermatoses. Monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies raised against some of the specific proteins found in the epidermis and basement membrane of the epidermis have allowed 4 types of epidermolysis bullosa de be identified and all variants to be classified. When a newborn baby presents with blisters, many conditions are implicated in the differential diagnosis. Examination under an optical microscope can suggest epidermolysis bullosa, but immunofluorescence mapping and electron microscopy are required for confirmation of the diagnosis and further classification of congenital epidermolysis bullosa. This article explains the importance of immunofluorescence antigen mapping and describes the methods employed for classification and subclassification of epidermolysis bullosa. © 2010 Elsevier España, S.L. and AEDV. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine