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Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis: Analysis of cases managed in a Tunisian tertiary hospital - 23/12/23

Doi : 10.1016/j.therap.2023.11.011 
Neila Fathallah a, , Zied Kenani b, Sana Mokni b, Ryma Gammoudi b, Raoudha Slim a, Nadia Fetoui Ghariani b, Najet Ghariani b, Chaker Ben Salem a, Bouraoui Ouni a, Mohamed Denguezli b
a Faculty of Medicine of Sousse, Department of Pharmacology, University of Sousse, 4000 Sousse, Tunisia 
b Department of Dermatology, Farhat Hached University Hospital, 4000 Sousse, Tunisia 

Corresponding author.
Sous presse. Épreuves corrigées par l'auteur. Disponible en ligne depuis le Saturday 23 December 2023

Summary

Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP) is a severe and life-threatening cutaneous adverse reaction. Drug-induced AGEP is mainly related to antibiotics. More recently, AGEP following spider bites has been increasingly described. Treatment includes withdrawal of the offending drug and supportive care. In Tunisia, data concerning severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) in general and especially AGEP is lacking. Herein, we conducted a retrospective study to investigate the epidemiological, clinical characteristics and etiologies of AGEP referred to the Dermatology department. Our study included 32 cases of AGEP. AGEP cases occurred in overall 8.9% of all SCARs referred to the department during the same period study. The majority were females (24 women and 7 men). The median age of the patients was 33 years. A history of psoriasis was reported in 16.1% of patients. All patients presented with an extensive erythematous rash with pinhead pustules. Neutrophil hyperleukocytosis (greater than 7000/mm3) was noted in 17 patients (63% of cases). It was associated with hypereosinophilia exceeding 500 elements/mm3 in 8 cases (29.6%). Drug-induced AGEP was reported in 53% of cases. Antibiotics were implicated in the majority of cases. Delay in onset ranged from 15hours to 7 days, with an average of 2.8 days. A non-drug-induced etiology was considered if the pharmacological investigation was negative, or if a clear non-drug trigger was found. It was retained in ten cases (48.4% of all observations). Spider bites were revealed in 8 cases. AGEP represents a severe, usually drug-related skin reaction. It is classified as a type IVd reaction mediating T cell-related sterile neutrophilic inflammatory response. It typically occurs within 24–48 h of ingestion of the offending drug. Antibiotics are the most common drug family to cause AGEP. Spider bites were involved in 25.8% of cases in our study, as important as antibiotic-induced AGEP. Analysis of the particularities of AGEP according to etiology, whether drug-induced or not, revealed the presence of an initial escarotic lesion (P=0.01) and the finding of blood hypereosinophilia (P=0.014) in the non-drug AGEP group were the distinguishing features. Blood hyperesoniophilia, more frequent in the non-drug AGEP group, suggests a pathophysiology probably different from that of the drug AGEP group. Clinicians should be aware of both etiologies. Our study focuses on the importance of AGEP associated with spider bite as a potential triggering factor in Tunisia.

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Keywords : Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, Drug, Bites, Severe cutaneous adverse reactions


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© 2023  Société française de pharmacologie et de thérapeutique. Publié par Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.
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