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Diagnosis of drug-induced skin reactions: a future role for computer-aided systems?

Burbach, Guido J.; Zuberbier, Torsten

Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology: October 2011 - Volume 11 - Issue 5 - p 451–456
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e32834a974c
Skin allergy: Edited by Torsten Zuberbier and Thomas Werfel

Purpose of review: The diagnosis of drug-induced hypersensitivity reactions is a common clinical challenge and the skin is considered a signal organ for a large percentage of these reactions. In order to assure clinical improvement of the patient, nondermatologists in primary or intensive care settings attending to patients receiving several drugs are often confronted with the need for an immediate decision which drug to stop and which drug to continue. As reliable allergological tests are missing for most drugs and are not available for immediate interventions, computer-aided diagnostic systems might be of assistance.

Recent findings: This review highlights the evolution of automated diagnostic aides in dermatology, emphasizes prerequisites for the development of appropriate computational algorithms and discusses the specific requirements and chances for the development of computer-aided diagnostic systems as a supportive approach in the diagnosis of culprit drugs for putative drug-induced hypersensitivity reactions.

Summary: As complex computational algorithms have to be created integrating both image and data analysis, the development of a computer-aided system for supporting nondermatologists in the diagnosis of drug-related hypersensitivity reactions is an ambitious task but might represent an achievable goal for the medium-term future.

Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Correspondence to Torsten Zuberbier, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, GermanyTel: +49 30 518135; fax: +49 30 518919; e-mail: torsten.zuberbier@charite.de

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