Long-term follow-up of patients treated for toxic epidermal necrolysis

Agnes Oplatek, Kimberly Brown, Soman Sen, Marcia Halerz, Kathy Supple, Richard L. Gamelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Patient outcomes concerning toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) have improved over the years as a better understanding of the pathophysiology of the illness has been gained and enhancements have been made in the care of the acutely ill. With increase in survival, long-term complications these patients experience are beginning to be recognized. In this study, we analyzed the outcomes of a cohort of TEN survivors treated at our burn unit and sought to determine the impact of clinical variables from the initial hospitalization on mortality after discharge. We performed a retrospective review of data from patients with TEN treated at our burn unit from March 1993 to September 2002. Follow-up data on new health problems were collected on patients who were alive at discharge via questionnaire. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method with Cox regression model. During the study period, of the 64 patients treated for TEN, 46 survived. After discharge, 15 patients died, whereas the remaining 31 patients continued to suffer from ocular (54%), skin (81%), and renal (23%) problems. Median survival for the whole cohort has not been reached, with an estimated 5-year survival of 65%. No patient in either group had a TEN recurrence. Seventy-nine percent of the patients with ocular involvement in the acute phase of TEN had long-term ocular complications, and 73% of patients with mucosal involvement had persistent mucosal lesions. Five individual factors were found to be predictors of postdischarge mortality on univariate analysis: age at diagnosis of TEN ≥ 60 years, SCORTEN 3 to 6, % maximal TBSA slough ≥50%, days from onset of symptoms to admission to a burn unit ≥5 days, and presence of multiple comorbidities at diagnosis of TEN. In multivariate analysis, only SCORTEN of 3 to 6 (P = .003) and days to admission ≥5 (P = .027) maintained significance as predictors of mortality and may be used to heighten surveillance during postdischarge care of patients with TEN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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