Sabtu, 19 Juni 2010

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

First described in 1922, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is an immune-complex–mediated hypersensitivity complex that is a severe expression of erythema multiforme. It is known by some as erythema multiforme major, but disagreement exists in the literature. Most authors and experts consider Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) different manifestations of the same disease. For that reason, many refer to the entity as SJS/TEN. SJS typically involves the skin and the mucous membranes. While minor presentations may occur, significant involvement of oral, nasal, eye, vaginal, urethral, GI, and lower respiratory tract mucous membranes may develop in the course of the illness. GI and respiratory involvement may progress to necrosis. SJS is a serious systemic disorder with the potential for severe morbidity and even death. Missed diagnosis is common.
Although several classification schemes have been reported, the simplest breaks the disease down as follows:1
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome - A "minor form of TEN," with less than 10% body surface area (BSA) detachment
  • Overlapping Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) - Detachment of 10-30% BSA
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis - Detachment of more than 30% BSA


Stevens-Johnson syndrome is an immune-complex–mediated hypersensitivity disorder that may be caused by many drugs, viral infections, and malignancies. Cocaine recently has been added to the list of drugs capable of producing the syndrome. Additionally, the antidepressant mirtazapine and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) – alpha antagonists infliximab, etanercept, and adalimumab have been reported as causes. In up to half of cases, no specific etiology has been identified.
Although not currently relevant to the practice of emergency medicine, research into the pathophysiology of SJS/TEN may soon allow for the development of tests to aid in the diagnosis as well as to identify those at risk.  

Pathologically, cell death results causing separation of the epidermis from the dermis. The death receptor, Fas, and its ligand, FasL, have been linked to the process, as has TNF-alpha. Researchers have found increased soluble FasL levels in the sera of patients with SJS/TEN before skin detachment or inset of mucosal lesions.2

Others have also linked inflammatory cytokines to the pathogenesis.

A "killer effector molecule" has been identified that may play a role in the activation of cytotoxic lymphocytes.3

There is also strong evidence for a genetic predisposition to severe cutaneous adverse drug reactions such as SJS. The US FDA and Health Canada advise screening for a human leukocyte antigen, HLA-B*1502, in patients of southeastern Asian ethnicity before starting treatment with carbamazepine. (The risk is much lower in other ethnic populations, making screening impractical in them). Another HLA antigen, HLA-B*5801, confers a risk of allopurinol-related reactions. Pretreatment screening is not readily available.4


United States

Cases tend to have a propensity for the early spring and winter.

For overlapping SJS and TEN, oxicam NSAIDs (piroxicam, meloxicam, tenoxicam) and sulfonamides are most commonly implicated in the United States and other western nations.4


SJS occurs with a worldwide distribution similar in etiology and occurrence to that in the United States.

In contrast to the drugs most often implicated in western nations, allopurinol is the most common offending agent in Southeast Asian nations, including Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.4


  • Mortality is determined primarily by the extent of skin sloughing. When BSA sloughing is less than 10%, the mortality rate is approximately 1-5%. However, when more than 30% BSA sloughing is present, the mortality rate is between 25% and 35%, and may be as high as 50%.5,4 Bacteremia/sepsis may also contribute to mortality.6
  • See SCORTEN for a more complete discussion of severity of illness and mortality.
  • Lesions may continue to erupt in crops for as long as 2-3 weeks. Mucosal pseudomembrane formation may lead to mucosal scarring and loss of function of the involved organ system. Esophageal strictures may occur when extensive involvement of the esophagus exists. Mucosal shedding in the tracheobronchial tree may lead to respiratory failure.
  • Ocular sequelae may include corneal ulceration and anterior uveitis. Blindness may develop secondary to severe keratitis or panophthalmitis in 3-10% of patients. Vaginal stenosis and penile scarring have been reported. Renal complications are rare.

Angina Pectoris


Angina pectoris is the result of myocardial ischemia caused by an imbalance between myocardial blood supply and oxygen demand. Angina is a common presenting symptom (typically, chest pain) among patients with coronary artery disease. A comprehensive approach to diagnosis and to medical management of angina pectoris is an integral part of the daily responsibilities of health care professionals.


Myocardial ischemia develops when coronary blood flow becomes inadequate to meet myocardial oxygen demand. This causes myocardial cells to switch from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism, with a progressive impairment of metabolic, mechanical, and electrical functions. Angina pectoris is the most common clinical manifestation of myocardial ischemia. It is caused by chemical and mechanical stimulation of sensory afferent nerve endings in the coronary vessels and myocardium. These nerve fibers extend from the first to fourth thoracic spinal nerves, ascending via the spinal cord to the thalamus, and from there to the cerebral cortex.
Studies have shown that adenosine may be the main chemical mediator of anginal pain. During ischemia, ATP is degraded to adenosine, which, after diffusion to the extracellular space, causes arteriolar dilation and anginal pain. Adenosine induces angina mainly by stimulating the A1 receptors in cardiac afferent nerve endings.1
Heart rate, myocardial inotropic state, and myocardial wall tension are the major determinants of myocardial metabolic activity and myocardial oxygen demand. Increases in the heart rate and myocardial contractile state result in increased myocardial oxygen demand. Increases in both afterload (ie, aortic pressure) and preload (ie, ventricular end-diastolic volume) result in a proportional elevation of myocardial wall tension and, therefore, increased myocardial oxygen demand. Oxygen supply to any organ system is determined by blood flow and oxygen extraction. Because the resting coronary venous oxygen saturation is already at a relatively low level (approximately 30%), the myocardium has a limited ability to increase its oxygen extraction during episodes of increased demand. Thus, an increase in myocardial oxygen demand (eg, during exercise) must be met by a proportional increase in coronary blood flow.
The ability of the coronary arteries to increase blood flow in response to increased cardiac metabolic demand is referred to as coronary flow reserve (CFR). In healthy people, the maximal coronary blood flow after full dilation of the coronary arteries is roughly 4-6 times the resting coronary blood flow. CFR depends on at least 3 factors: large and small coronary artery resistance, extravascular (ie, myocardial and interstitial) resistance, and blood composition.
Myocardial ischemia can result from (1) a reduction of coronary blood flow caused by fixed and/or dynamic epicardial coronary artery (ie, conductive vessel) stenosis, (2) abnormal constriction or deficient relaxation of coronary microcirculation (ie, resistance vessels), or (3) reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of epicardial coronary artery stenosis and, hence, angina pectoris. Patients with a fixed coronary atherosclerotic lesion of at least 50% show myocardial ischemia during increased myocardial metabolic demand as the result of a significant reduction in CFR. These patients are not able to increase their coronary blood flow during stress to match the increased myocardial metabolic demand, thus they experience angina. Fixed atherosclerotic lesions of at least 90% almost completely abolish the flow reserve; patients with these lesions may experience angina at rest.
Coronary spasm can also reduce CFR significantly by causing dynamic stenosis of coronary arteries. Prinzmetal angina is defined as resting angina associated with ST-segment elevation caused by focal coronary artery spasm. Although most patients with Prinzmetal angina have underlying fixed coronary lesions, some have angiographically normal coronary arteries. Several mechanisms have been proposed for Prinzmetal angina: focal deficiency of nitric oxide production,2 hyperinsulinemia, low intracellular magnesium levels, smoking cigarettes, and using cocaine.
Approximately 30% of patients with chest pain referred for cardiac catheterization have normal or minimal atherosclerosis of coronary arteries. A subset of these patients demonstrates reduced CFR that is believed to be caused by functional and structural alterations of small coronary arteries and arterioles (ie, resistance vessels). Under normal conditions, resistance vessels are responsible for as much as 95% of coronary artery resistance, with the remaining 5% being from epicardial coronary arteries (ie, conductive vessels). The former is not visualized during regular coronary catheterization. Angina due to dysfunction of small coronary arteries and arterioles is called microvascular angina. Several diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and systemic collagen vascular diseases (eg, systemic lupus erythematosus, polyarteritis nodosa), are believed to cause microvascular abnormalities with subsequent reduction in CFR.
The syndrome that includes angina pectoris, ischemialike ST-segment changes and/or myocardial perfusion defects during stress testing, and angiographically normal coronary arteries is referred to as syndrome X. Most patients with this syndrome are postmenopausal women, and they usually have an excellent prognosis.3 Syndrome X is believed to be caused by microvascular angina. Multiple mechanisms may be responsible for this syndrome, including (1) impaired endothelial dysfunction,4 (2) increased release of local vasoconstrictors, (3) fibrosis and medial hypertrophy of the microcirculation, (4) abnormal cardiac adrenergic nerve function, and/or (5) estrogen deficiency.5
A number of extravascular forces produced by contraction of adjacent myocardium and intraventricular pressures can influence coronary microcirculation resistance and thus reduce CFR. Extravascular compressive forces are highest in the subendocardium and decrease toward the subepicardium. Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy together with a higher myocardial oxygen demand (eg, during tachycardia) cause greater susceptibility to ischemia in subendocardial layers.
Myocardial ischemia can also be the result of factors affecting blood composition, such as reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of blood, as is observed with severe anemia (hemoglobin, <8 g/dL), or elevated levels of carboxyhemoglobin. The latter may be the result of inhalation of carbon monoxide in a closed area or of long-term smoking.
Ambulatory ECG monitoring has shown that silent ischemia is a common phenomenon among patients with established coronary artery disease. In one study, as many as 75% of episodes of ischemia (defined as transient ST depression of >1 mm persisting for at least 1 min) occurring in patients with stable angina were clinically silent. Silent ischemia occurs most frequently in early morning hours and may result in transient myocardial contractile dysfunction (ie, stunning). The exact mechanism(s) for silent ischemia is not known. However, autonomic dysfunction (especially in patients with diabetes), a higher pain threshold in some individuals, and the production of excessive quantities of endorphins are among the more popular hypotheses