Supplementary Material for: Diagnosis of Inherited Epidermolysis Bullosa in Resource-Limited Settings: Immunohistochemistry Revisited

Background: Immunofluorescence (IFM) antigen mapping is the most commonly used technique to diagnose and differentiate epidermolysis bullosa (EB). In India, IFM is limited to few research laboratories and is not readily available, making the diagnosis largely clinical and often inaccurate. Ob jective of the Study: To examine the diagnostic usefulness of immunohistochemistry (IHC) as compared to IFM in resource-limited settings. Methods: Forty-four consecutive EB patients were included in this study. IHC and IFM were performed on 7-µm frozen tissue sections using standard laboratory protocols with a limited panel of antibodies. The kappa coefficient of agreement was calculated with genetic analysis as the gold standard. Results: IFM and IHC accurately identified the subtype of EB in 80.9% (p < 0.001) of the cases, when a clear blister cavity was evident on biopsy. The sensitivities and specificities of IHC and IFM for diagnosing EB simplex, junctional EB, and dystrophic EB were 100, 100, and 60% and 82.4, 100, and 100%, respectively. IHC was equally effective (p < 0.001) in establishing the type of EB as IFM. Conclusions: IHC staining and its interpretation were simple and comparable to IFM. IHC had an advantage of showing subtle changes in the epidermal architecture that could not be appreciated on IFM and hence can be considered useful in resource-limited settings.