Ultra-high frequency ultrasound in the differential diagnosis of oral pemphigus and pemphigoid: An explorative study

Rossana, Izzetti, Marco, Nisi, Giacomo, Aringhieri, Saverio, Vitali, Teresa, Oranges, Marco, Romanelli, Davide, Caramella, Filippo, Graziani, Mario, Gabriele

Skin Research and Technology |

Objectives: Intraoral ultra-high frequency ultrasound (UHFUS) is an emerging technique in oral medicine, due to its possibility to provide submillimeter resolution imaging of superficial mucosal structures. In this study, the potential role of UHFUS in the diagnosis of oral pemphigus vulgaris (PV) and mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) is assessed. Materials and Methods: Consecutive patients with suspected oral PV or MMP were enrolled. All patients underwent clinical examination, laboratory tests, intraoral UHFUS scan, and biopsy. Histology and direct immunofluorescence were set as benchmark for diagnosis confirmation. The sensitivity and specificity of UHFUS compared to histology were assessed. Mann-Whitney test was performed to evaluate the presence of differences in the echogenicity of PV and MMP. P-value was set at P < 0.05. Results: Twenty-five patients were included. Thirteen patients were diagnosed with PV, and twelve with MMP. The UHFUS features of PV and MMP lesions were described. Image analysis showed statistically significant differences between the echogenicity of PV and MMP lesions (P < 0.05). Good concordance between UHFUS and histology was found. UHFUS showed 75% sensitivity in the diagnosis of PV and 66.7% in the diagnosis of MMP. Conclusions: UHFUS appears a valuable tool in the diagnosis of PV and MMP. Although histology and immunofluorescence remain the gold standard, UHFUS role in the diagnostic algorithm of PV and MMP seems promising as a chair-side tool consistently enhancing clinical evaluation of oral bullous lesions.