What is Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and what are the classifications of severity?

Updated: Jan 17, 2019
  • Author: C Stephen Foster, MD, FACS, FACR, FAAO, FARVO; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a type IV (subtype C) hypersensitivity reaction that typically involves the skin and the mucous membranes. Although several classification schemes have been reported, the simplest classification breaks the disease down as follows [1] :

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome: A minor form of toxic epidermal necrolysis, with less than 10% body surface area (BSA) detachment

  • Overlapping Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis: Detachment of 10-30% of the BSA

  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis: Detachment of more than 30% of the BSA

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