Etanercept May Benefit Patients With Steven Johnson Syndrome

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the 2022 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting , held live from March 25 through March 29 in Boston, Massachusetts. The team at Dermatology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in dermatology. Check back for more from the 2022 AAD Annual Meeting .


Etanercept, a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha inhibitor, may help reduce mortality and shorten hospital duration in patients with Steven Johnson syndrome (SJS).

A retrospective study presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), held from March 25 to 29, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts, evaluated both patients with SJS and patients with SJS and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) overlap who were treated with etanercept vs alternative therapies. The researchers evaluated 24 patients with SJS or SJS-TEN. Of those patients, 8 received etanercept and 16 received alternative therapies. The clinical severity of disease was measured using the SCORTEN severity of illness scale. The researchers also calculated mortality ratios and length of hospital stay.

The data showed for all patients, the mortality ratio for SJS patients using etanercept was zero compared with .56 for the alternative therapy group (CI 95% =.07, 2.03). Among the patients with SJS the mortality rate was also zero, compared with .63 for those receiving alternative therapies (CI 95% =.08, 2.28). Duration of hospital stay differed between the SJS and SJS-TEN groups (P =.0427 by Log-rank test, P =.0365 by Wilson test).

Although the researchers worked with a small sample size from a single clinic and did not use randomization, they conclude their preliminary results “suggest the possibility that etanercept may be used in SJS patients to reduce mortality and duration of hospitalization.”


Sivagnanalingam U, Nichols CS, Abdulhak AH, Nutan F. Evaluating etanercept in the management of SJS and SJS/TEN overlap patients. Presented at: the 2022 AAD Annual Meeting; March 25-29, 2022. Abstract/Poster 33358.

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