Oxidative and nitrosative stress caused by drug metabolism may be a trigger for keratinocyte apoptosis in the epidermis seen in toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens Johnson syndrome (SJS).
To estimate oxidative damage in the serum and to examine the role of nitric oxide in mediating epidermal damage in patients with TEN and SJS.
A prospective study was conducted among TEN and SJS patients and controls in a tertiary care center between January 2006 and February 2010. Patients with a maculopapular drug rash without detachment of skin constituted the control group 1 (drug exposed). Patients without a drug rash constituted the control group 2 (drug unexposed). The serum values of protein carbonyls, malondialdehyde, conjugated diene and nitrates were measured. Two-group comparison with the non-parametric Mann–Whitney U test was used. Significance of differences if any was established using Pearson's Chi-square test.
Ten patients in the SJS-TEN group (study group), 8 patients in control group 1 and 7 patients in control group 2 were included. More than one drug was implicated in 4/10 patients in group 1 and 3/8 patients in group 2. SCORTEN of 0, 1 and 3 at admission were seen in 2, 6 and 2 patients, respectively. The serum values of protein carbonyls, malondialdehyde, conjugated diene and nitrates were not significantly increased in the study group when compared to the controls.