Rouleaux, autoaglutinitation of erythrocytes associated with a pinkish material resembling fibrin-like agregate material in the in skin biopsies from patients with autoimmune blistering diseases



Introduction: Autoimmune bullous skin diseases (ABDs) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders of the skin and mucosa; these disorders are commonly associated with deposits of immunoglobulins, complement, and fibrinogen, usually directed against distinct adhesion molecules.
Methods: We utilized hematoxylin and eosin (H & E) stained tissues sections to evaluate for the presence of rouleaux in lesional skin biopsies of patients affected by ABDs including patients with endemic and nonendemic pemphigus foliaceus, bullous pemphigoid (BP), pemphigus vulgaris (PV), dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), and a group of controls taken from routine biopsies seen in our practice.
Results: Most autoimmune bullous skin diseases biopsies showed rouleaux formation within and around post-capillary venules in the superficial vascular plexus in association with a pinkish brush-like material that resembles fibrin or other amorphous eosinophilic material.
Discussion: We document that rouleaux and the pinkish aggregates are present in within biopsies taken from lesional skin in the majority of patients with ABDs and speculate that this maybe as result of the exocytosis of inflammatory cells, antibodies that form when exposed to the extracellular matrix which is already edematous in most ABDs. In addition red blood cells in the presence of plasma proteins or other macromolecules may form aggregates. Further studies are needed.

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