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Toxic epidermal necrolysis — an investigation to dye for?


We report the first case in Australia, as confirmed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, of toxic epidermal necrolysis associated with the iodinated contrast medium iopamidol. It serves as a warning about the use of contrast in imaging and cardiac catheterisation and a reminder of the need for increased awareness of the issue.

Clinical record

A 44-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with a 3-day history of a progressive rash, fever, malaise and mucosal ulceration. She met the diagnosis of toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the following criteria: bullae and desquamation affecting about 84% of the body surface (Box 1 and Box 2), buccal and vaginal ulceration, a positive Nikolsky sign (this is a useful sign in bullous skin diseases and can be demonstrated by rubbing the skin surface, which will blister within a few minutes if the sign is positive), fever, tachycardia and mild hypotension. She also had abnormal results of liver function tests: bilirubin level, 69 µmol/L (reference interval [RI], < 20 µmol/L); alkaline phosphatase level, 180 U/L (RI, 25–100 U/L); γ-glutamyl transferase level, 499 U/L (RI, < 30 U/L); alanine aminotransferase level, 1730 U/L (RI, < 30 U/L); and aspartate aminotransferase level, 638 U/L (RI, < 30 U/L).…