The subepidermal vesiculobullous disorders are characterized by vesicles or bullae that are by definition located in the basement membrane zone area between the dermis and epidermis of skin or between the epithelium and sub-mucosa of mucous membranes. There are several different ways to group the subepidermal vesiculobullous disorders. They are based on:

1. Immunologic criteria and location of bulla formation

2. Autoimmune versus nonimmunologic etiology

3. Composition of the inflammatory infiltrates and other histologic features

4. Immunofluorescence patterns and molecular studies

In all of these subepidermal vesiculobullous disorders, a final diagnosis often depends on cumulative information about clinical presentation, histological features, and immu-nofluorescence studies. It can be difficult to tell them apart by histological features alone.

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