Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) represents the most severe drug-related skin condition that is potentially life-threatening with no well-established treatments. The application of corticosteroid therapy is controversial, whereas recently intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy is emerging as a promising new method. A severity-of-illness score for TEN (SCORTEN) has gained acceptance in some western countries. In this study, our objectives were to assess the applicability of SCORTEN in Chinese patients with TEN and to evaluate the efficacy of the combination therapy of IVIG and corticosteroid in these patients. We performed a retrospective review of data from 61 patients with TEN treated at our intensive care unit from 2000 to 2010 to assess the performance of SCORTEN. In particular, 55 patients between 2002 and 2010 were grouped as a series to compare the therapeutic effects of corticosteroid therapy and IVIG combined therapy contemporaneously. During this period, 16 patients were administered with corticosteroid therapy and 39 were treated with the combination therapy. An initial dose of 1.5 mg/kg/day of methylprednisolone was given to all TEN patients. The combination therapy was combined with a total dose of 2 g/kg IVIG within 5 days. Areas under receiver operating characteristic curves and Hosmer-Lemeshow statistic were analyzed to illustrate the performance of SCORTEN. The comparison of the efficacy of the two therapies was conducted on the basis of clinical outcomes, standardized mortality ratio (SMR), and survival analysis. The overall actual mortality of patients between 2000 and 2010 was 16% (10/61), statistically insignificantly lower than predicted (24%, SMR = 67.98). Excellent discriminatory power (the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves: 88.9, 88.2, 90.6%) and good calibration (P = .637, .833, .530) were found in all the groups. In patients admitted between 2002 and 2010, IVIG combined therapy showed a trend toward reducing the mortality rate (13%, SMR = 52.35), whereas corticosteroid monotherapy suggested no such difference (31%, SMR = 123.92). Besides, the cumulative survival rates of the combination therapy were higher at almost all the levels of SCORTEN (P = .002), especially at the score of 5 (P = 3.10 × 10−7). Compared with corticosteroid alone, the combination therapy arrested progression earlier (P = .013), although it did not significantly lead to a tapering of corticosteroid or a reduction of the time of hospitalization. We concluded that SCORTEN was generally applicable to Chinese patients with TEN. The comparison of the effect indicated that the combination therapy might achieve a better therapeutic effect than the administration of corticosteroid alone, especially in severe TEN patients.
From the Department of Dermatology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.
Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant 81071287].
Drs Zhu and Ma contributed equally to this work.
Address correspondence to Xiao-qun Luo, PhD, MD, Huashan Hospital affiliated to Fudan University, 12 Wulumuqi Zhong Rd, Jing’an District, Shanghai, China.