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January 2003

Treatment of Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis: The Uncertainty Persists but the Fog Is Dispersing

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology, University of Vienna Medical School, A1090 Währinger Gürtel 18-20, Vienna, Austria, (e-mail: klaus.wolff@akh-wien.ac.at)

Arch Dermatol. 2003;139(1):85-86. doi:10.1001/archderm.139.1.85

THERAPEUTIC STUDIES in toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), a rare but dramatic and life-threatening disease, have recently drawn a considerable amount of attention. Despite (or perhaps due to) the fact that a variety of possible therapeutic modalities have been proposed, usually based on a symptomatic approach and tried in single patients or small series, still no proven and widely accepted treatment regimen exists.

The development of a generally accepted treatment strategy has been hampered by the fact that the condition is part of a larger spectrum of reactive inflammatory skin diseases and thus heterogeneous; that it is rare and life threatening and thus precludes placebo-controlled studies; and that our knowledge on the pathogenic mechanisms involved are still only fragmentary.

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