Author(s): Sheridan RL, Schulz JT, Ryan CM, Schnitzer JJ, Lawlor D,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVE: Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is an acute inflammatory systemic condition that involves injury not just to the skin. Historically, it has been associated with a high mortality but few long-term consequences among survivors. With improved survival, long-term consequences may be becoming more apparent. The objective of this study was to define these long-term consequences and their frequency. METHODS: From July 1, 1991, to June 30, 2000, 11 children with severe TEN were referred to a regional pediatric burn facility. Wounds were managed with a strategy involving prevention of wound desiccation and superinfection, including the frequent use of biological wound coverings. All children survived and have been followed in the burn clinic. The records of all children were reviewed in detail. RESULTS: Two boys and 9 girls with an average age of 7.2 +/- 1.8 years (range: 6 months-15 years) and sloughed surface area of 76 +/- 6\% of the body surface (range: 50\%-95\%) were admitted to the burn unit for care. Antibiotics (3 children), anticonvulsants (4 children), nonsteroidals (2 children), and viral syndrome or unknown agents (2 children) were believed to have triggered the syndrome. Six (55\%) children required intubation for an average of 9.7 +/- 1.8 days (range: 2-14 days). Mucosal involvement occurred in 10 (91\%) and ocular involvement in 10 (91\%). Lengths of stay averaged 19 +/- 3 days (range: 6-40 days). Overall follow-up averaged 14 +/- 13 months. Three children had no apparent long-term consequences of the disease and were referred to primary care follow-up after the 2-month burn clinic visit. The remaining children had follow-up averaging 23 +/- 13 months. The most common long-term morbidity involved eyes (3 children [27\%]), nails (4 children [36\%]), and variegated skin depigmentation (all children). One child developed vaginal stenosis from mucosal inflammation. No esophageal strictures or recurrent TEN has been diagnosed. CONCLUSIONS: Survival has improved in children with TEN, but long-term sequelae are not infrequent. The most common long-term consequences involve the eyes, the skin, and the nails.
This article was published in Pediatrics
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy