Current Drug Safety

Dr. Seetal Dodd
University of Melbourne
Geelong, 3220
Australia

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Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

Author(s): Florence Castelain and Philippe Humbert

Affiliation: Department of Dermatology, Hopital Saint Jacques, 25030 Besancon Cedex, France.

Keywords: Toxic epidermal necrolysis, Lyell, Stevens-Johnson, SCORTEN, immunoglobulin, intravenous, paraneoplastic, pemphigus, mucocutaneous, bullous, erythematosus

Abstract:

Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a severe mucocutaneous drug-induced syndrome that causes massive keratinocyte apoptosis and therefore hydro-electrolytic disorders and systemic infection. TEN approximately affects one to two cases per million per year. Mortality rate may reach thirty percent of cases. Thus, TEN constitutes a therapeutic emergency at diagnosis. Typically, clinical examination shows a mucocutaneous detachment involving more than thirty percent of body area. Definitive diagnosis is made on cutaneous biopsy with histological exam that shows the blister of necrotic keratinocytes. Main differential diagnosis are acute staphylococcus epidermis, acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, linear IgA bullous dermatosis, paraneoplastic pemphigus, bullous fixed pigmented erythema, acute lupus erythematosus. In the early days, SCORTEN gives a good estimation and is now widely used as prognostic score. Drugs are generally considered as the main etiology of TEN but in some cases bacterial or viral infections could be involved. Physiopathology remains unclear even if recent advances have reported the possible implication of immune pathways based on activation of T and NK cells. Treatment of TEN requires to be instituted as soon as the diagnosis is made and the patient is preferentially referred to a specialized unit. Supportive care consist of covering areas of cutaneous detachment. No other therapy has demonstrated its efficiency, but high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin might improve the prognosis.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 7
ISSUE: 5
Page: [332 - 338]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1574886311207050002