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Encyclopedia > Erythema multiforme

Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a severe and potentially life-threatening (15% of cases) disease, it is a hypersensitivity complex affecting the skin and the mucous membranes, a severe expression of erythema multiforme (EM) (and so SJS is also called erythema multiforme major).

SJS is characterized by fever, sore throat, and headache leading to the sudden development of circular mucocutaneous lesions that can cover the majority of the skin. These lesions begin as macules and can develop into papules, vesicles, bullae, or urticarial plaques. The most extreme cases are termed Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome (TENS) or Lyell's Syndrome, in these cases the entire skin is affected.

Treatment is initially similar to that of patients with thermal burns, and continued care can only be supportive and symptomatic, there is no specific drug treatment (2002).

The cause of SJS is either infections (usually following viral infections such as herpes simplex virus, influenza, mumps, cat-scratch fever, histoplasmosis, Epstein-Barr virus, or similar), drug-induced (penicillins, barbiturate, sulfas, phenytoin, lamotrigine, nevirapine[1] (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11579247&dopt=Abstract)[2] (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=21102708&dopt=Abstract)), malignancy-related (carcinomas and lymphomas), or idiopathic (50% of the time)

External links

  • The House that AIDS Built (http://www.altheal.org/toxicity/house.htm) (contains two photos of an SJS case)

  Results from FactBites:
Erythema Multiforme (875 words)
Erythema multiforme (EM) is an acute, self-limiting, inflammatory skin eruption.
Erythema multiforme has been so named because of the "multiple forms" it appears in; there is a large degree of variety in its clinical presentation.
Erythema multiforme minor: EM minor as the name suggests is the less severe of the two types and accounts for 80% of EM.
ENLmedical.com: Conditions And Concerns: Medical Encyclopedia: Erythema multiforme (1001 words)
Erythema multiforme is a type of hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction that occurs in response to medications, infections, or illness.
Erythema multiforme lesions are often referred to as target lesions because of the concentric rings the lesions produce.
Erythema multiforme may be associated with herpes simplex infection, mycoplasma pneumonia, or other medical conditions such as streptococcal infection, tuberculosis (TB), or may result from exposure to chemicals or medications.
  More results at FactBites »



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