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May 1958

Erythema Multiforme Exudativum (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome)Report of Two Cases with Postmortem Findings and Comment

AMA Arch Derm. 1958;77(5):532-541. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560050040008


Since 1922, when Stevens and Johnson1 reported on two extremely ill children as having "eruptive fever" with stomatitis and ophthalmia, sporadic reports have appeared in the literature on this serious and at times fatal disease. It is a syndrome well known to dermatologists and ophthalmologists, but it is not so well known to the general medical public. In fact it receives scant, if any, attention in the general medical textbooks.

No doubt one of the reasons for this oversight is the confusion in terminology that surrounds several diseases having important features in common but described as separate entities.

Recent reports2 in the literature seem to indicate that steroid therapy is of value in this condition. The purpose of this report is to present two cases of erythema multiforme exudativum (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), with postmortem findings, in which steroids, antibiotics, and supportive therapy failed to

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