[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 22, 1974

Adult Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis With Fatal Staphylococcal Septicemia

Author Affiliations

From the Dermatology Division, Medical Service, San Francisco General Hospital and the Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco (Dr. Epstein), and the departments of dermatology, medicine, and pathology at Samuel Merritt Hospital, Oakland, Calif (Drs. Epstein, Flynn, and Davis).

JAMA. 1974;229(4):425-427. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230420037021

Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a dramatic, easily recognized clinical event in which sheets of the upper layer of the epidermis slide off the lower layers of the skin. This sign developed in a 70-year-old man in association with a rapidly fatal staphylococcal septicemia. Although recognized in children, this association has been reported only rarely in adults. Inoculation of the isolated bacterium into newborn mice produced characteristic wrinkling. Development of this epidermolysis requires immediate antibiotic therapy.

(JAMA 229:425-427, 1974)