Stevens-Johnson syndrome

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Stevens Johnson syndrome is a severe and sometimes fatal form of erythema multiforme

  • there is more widespread skin and mucosal involvement than in erythema multiforme (1)

  • although erythema multiforme (EM), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) were thought to belong to the same group of disorders there is supporting evidence that EM differs from the other 2 diseases in:
    • clinical features
    • severity
    • cause
    • dermographic variables (2)

  • SJS is a rare, life threatening mucocutaneous condition with epidermal detachment, acute skin blisters and erosions in the mucous membranes (3)

  • detachment is seen in less than 10% of the total body surface areas (3)

  • the disease can be seen in all ages including children, infants and sometimes in newborns as well (2)

  • there is a higher incidence in children and young adults, and it is twice as common in males than females. There may be pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac or renal involvement (4)


Last reviewed 01/2018