toxic epidermal necrolysis

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Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

 

Definition

Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a rare condition that causes large portions of the epidermis, the skin's outermost layer, to detach from the layers of skin below. A reaction to a medication is the primary cause.

Description

Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) begins with fever, cough, and other nonspecific symptoms, and is soon followed by purplish, bloody-looking lesions on the skin and mucous membranes. These early lesions, typically found on the head, neck, and upper chest, soon merge and blister. Sheets of epidermis then begin to detach from the skin layers below. In time, the entire surface of the skin may be involved, with detachment of 100% of the epidermis.

Causes and symptoms

The main cause of TEN is a severe drug reaction. Some investigators believe there may be additional infectious causes. A severe reaction in transplant patients, called graft-vs.-host disease, can also produce TEN. One study reported more than 100 different drugs as causes of TEN. The drugs most commonly implicated, however, include antibacterial sulfonamides such as sulfadiazine, antibiotics such as aminopenicillins and cephalosporins, and anticonvulsants like phenytoin. TEN is extremely rare. Researchers estimate that there are 0.2 cases per million users of aminopenicillins and 4.5 cases per million users of sulfonamides.
Exactly what leads to detachment of the epidermis remains unclear. People with TEN seem to have difficulty metabolizing the offending drug. Some researchers suggest that certain substances that should be cleared from the body instead get deposited on the outer shell of the epidermis, causing an immune response that leads the body to "reject" the skin.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made primarily on the appearance and spread of the skin lesions, and on a history that includes introduction of a new medication within the previous one to three weeks. A biopsy of the early lesions will confirm the diagnosis. Physicians will consider other potential diseases that cause similar symptoms before reaching a diagnosis of TEN. One is erythema multiforme, a recurrent skin disorder that produces lesions similar in appearance to TEN. However, this disorder is not caused by a drug reaction and does not lead to sheet-like shedding of the skin. Another disease, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, is a drug-induced skin disease that some experts believe is really a milder form of TEN. Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) also looks like TEN, but it is caused by a staphylococcal infection. Unlike TEN, which occurs rarely in children, SSSS primarily affects infants, young children, and adults with weakened immune systems.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for TEN. Patients are typically treated in an intensive care unit or in a burn unit and receive treatment similar to that given to patients with major burns. With the loss of skin, severe dehydration is a major risk, so health care workers will attempt to replace fluids intravenously. Nutritional supplementation from a tube routed through the nose to the stomach may also be contemplated to promote the healing of the skin. Infection is a major risk, so some physicians "paint" the open lesions with topical antiseptics. Others use skin grafts taken from cadavers or cultured skin substitutes to cover large open areas until healing can occur. Some investigators believe system corticosteroids are useful in the treatment of TEN. But since these medications have also been implicated as a cause in some cases of TEN and are known to supress the immune system, their use should be considered carefully.

Key terms

Epidermis — The outermost layer of the skin.
Erythema multiforme — A recurrent skin disorder that produces lesions similar in appearance to TEN, but is not caused by a drug reaction and does not lead to sheet-like shedding of the skin.
Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome — A disease caused by Staphylococcus aureus, in which large sheets of skin may peel away from the body. It most often affects infants, young children, and people with weakened immune systems.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome — A drug-induced skin disease that some experts believe is really a milder form of TEN.

Prognosis

About 25-30% of patients with TEN die. Elderly patients, those with extensive skin lesions, and those with AIDS have the worst prognosis. Widespread systemic infection (sepsis) is the primary cause of death. Survivors, however, will be completely healed in three to four weeks.

Prevention

There is no prevention for TEN. No reliable test can indicate that a specific drug may cause TEN in a specific patient. Some researchers believe skin tests of potentially offending drugs may prove useful in the future.

Resources

Organizations

American Academy of Dermatology. 930 N. Meacham Road, P.O. Box 4014, Schaumburg, IL 60168-4014. (847) 330-0230.Fax: (847) 330-0050. http://www.aad.org.

necrolysis

 [nĕ-krol´ĭ-sis]
separation or exfoliation of necrotic tissue.
toxic epidermal necrolysis an exfoliative skin disease in which erythema spreads rapidly over the body, followed by blisters much like those seen in a second degree burn. It may be caused by drug reactions, infections (viral, bacterial, or fungal), neoplastic disease, graft-versus-host reaction, and chemical exposure.

tox·ic ep·i·der·mal ne·crol·y·sis (TEN),

a syndrome in which a large portion of the skin becomes intensely erythematous with epidermal necrosis and peels off in the manner of a second-degree burn, often simultaneous with the formation of flaccid bullae, resulting from drug sensitivity or of unknown cause; the level of separation is subepidermal, unlike staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome in which there is subcorneal change.
Synonym(s): Lyell syndrome

toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)

a rare life-threatening skin disease characterized by epidermal erythema, superficial necrosis, and skin erosions. This condition, which affects mainly adults, makes the skin appear scalded, often leaving scars. The cause of TEN is unknown, but it may result from toxic or hypersensitive reactions, an immune response, or severe physiological stress. A similar skin disorder may be the result of a staphylococcal infection. Treatment of TEN commonly involves the administration of IV fluids to replace body fluids and maintain electrolyte balance. Frequent laboratory analyses are necessary to monitor hematocrit and hemoglobin, serum proteins, electrolytes, and blood gases. Also called scalded skin syndrome. Compare staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome.
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Toxic epidermal necrolysis

toxic epidermal necrolysis

Lyell syndrome Dermatology An acute life-threatening mucocutaneous reaction often to drugs–80% of cases, characterized by widespread and/or confluent erythema, necrosis, formation of multiple bullae that coalesce, followed by mucocutaneous sloughing Etiology Drug hypersensitivity–eg, allopurinol, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, carbamazepine, NSAIDs–eg, phenylbutazone, oxicam derivatives, sulfonamides–eg, T-S, infections, vaccination, RT, CA Clinical Prodrome–fever, malaise, erythema, followed by subepidermal bullae, epidemal sloughing Complications Dehydration, electrolyte imbalance or 'third space phenomenon', abscess formation, sepsis, renal failure, CHF, GI hemorrhage, shock, skin failure, oral–erosive stomatitis, anogenital, conjunctival–keratitis, corneal erosions, respiratory tract lesions; ±30% are fatal Treatment Symptomatic, as with 2nd degree burns, stop offending drug. See Erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Cf Staphylococcus scalded skin syndrome.

tox·ic ep·i·der·mal ne·crol·y·sis

(TEN) (tok'sik ep'i-dĕr'măl nĕ-krol'i-sis)
A syndrome in which a large portion of the skin becomes intensely erythematous, with epidermal necrosis and flaccid bullae, resulting from drug sensitivity or of unknown cause.
Synonym(s): Lyell syndrome.

toxic epidermal necrolysis

A severe skin disorder featuring redness, peeling, blistering and loosening and shedding of large sheets of the EPIDERMIS. In children it was believed to be usually due to a circulating staphylococcal toxin and is often called the staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS). It is now thought that the condition is almost always a severe reaction to a drug. The condition is also known as Lyell disease after the dermatologist Alan Lyell who first described it in 1956.

Lyell,

Alan, 20th century Scottish dermatologist.
Lyell disease - a disease affecting infants in which large areas of skin peel off as a result of upper respiratory staphylococcal infection. Synonym(s): Ritter disease; Ritter syndrome; staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome
Lyell syndrome - a syndrome in which a large portion of the skin becomes intensely erythematous with epidermal necrosis, and peels off. Synonym(s): toxic epidermal necrolysis

syndrome

aggregated objective signs, subjective symptoms and specific pathologies that typify specific conditions
  • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; AIDS severe reduction in numbers of T4 lymphocyte helper (CD4) cells (due to infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]) and resultant compromise of humoral and cell-mediated immunity; patients show lymphadenopathy, opportunistic infections (e.g. tinea and verrucae) and unusual infections (e.g. histoplasmosis, gastrointestinal tract candidiasis, Pneumocystis carnii pneumonia [PCP]), unusual malignancies (e.g. Kaposi's sarcoma), wasting diseases and presenile dementia

  • acute compartment syndrome; ACS increased lower-limb intracompartmental pressure on exercise (exercise expands muscles, increases intracompartmental pressures, inducing pain); treated initially by rest, immobilization, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; severe cases may require surgical decompression (fasciotomy)

  • anterior tarsal syndrome; ATS deep peroneal nerve entrapment at anterior ankle/dorsal talonavicular joint, due to restriction of ankle dorsiflexion (e.g. tight boots; ski boots), or local soft-tissue trauma (e.g. dorsal tarsal exostoses); characterized by extensor hallucis longus weakness, dorsal foot paraesthesia and numbness of first intermetatarsal space (symptoms can be induced by deep peroneal nerve percussion as crosses the anterior aspect of the ankle joint, or by ankle joint plantarflexion whilst simultaneously dorsiflexing toes)

  • anterior tibial compartment syndrome ischaemic necrosis of anterior compartment muscle fibres, due to local arterial compression by engorged muscles, after unaccustomed exertion

  • anterior tibiotalar impingement syndrome anterior ankle pain at ankle dorsiflexion (e.g. at midstance, just before heel lift) due to inferior tibial/neck of talus exostosis

  • Apert's syndrome type Ia acrocephalosyndactyly, characterized by features of Carpenter's syndrome, with lesser digital (2-5) fusion into one mass, usually with a common mega-nail

  • Apert-Crouzon syndrome type IIa acrocephalosyndactyly characterized by features of Carpenter's syndrome with additional craniofacial dysostosis, maxillary hypoplasia, and 2-4 digit fusion

  • Bazex syndrome; acrokeratosis paraneoplastica keratoderma (i.e. erythema, scaling and irritation) of skin of ears, nose, hands and feet and later generalized hyperkeratosis in men with underlying internal malignancy; condition regresses when underlying malignancy is resolved

  • Behçet's syndrome chronic vasculitic disease of unknown cause; characterized by seronegative arthritis of knees and ankles, elbows and wrists, mouth ulcers, erythema nodosum, visual impairment and cerebrovascular accident

  • benign familial joint hypermobility syndrome; BFJHS generalized joint hypermobility, diagnosed as 2 major/1 major + 2 minor/4 minor criteria (see Table 1) in the absence of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan's syndrome and osteogenesis imperfecta

  • Brocq-Lyell syndrome; toxic epidermal necrolysis severe, acute, systemic drug reaction characterized by hyperpigmented skin lesions and epidermal detachment

  • Brown-Séquard syndrome hemiparaplegia and hyperaesthesia, with ipsilateral loss of stereognosis and contralateral hemianaesthesia; due to unilateral spinal cord lesion

  • carpal tunnel syndrome pain, paraesthesia and loss of power of palmar muscles; associated with rheumatoid arthritis

  • Carpenter's syndrome; acrocephalopolysyndactyly oxycephaly, bradysyndactyly and polydactyly of the feet, with learning difficulties

  • Charcot's syndrome see intermittent claudication

  • chronic compartment syndrome; CCS; chronic exertional compartment syndrome exercise-induced fascial compartment pain; caused by compromised circulation and relative ischaemia of intracompartmental tissues, with long-term muscle and nerve dysfunction and damage; recalcitrant cases require surgical decompression through fasciotomy (see syndrome, acute compartment)

  • compartment syndrome see syndrome, acute compartment; syndrome, chronic compartment

  • complex regional pain syndrome; CRPS; chronic regional pain syndrome neuroinflammatory dysfunction, due to ion interaction of nociceptive C-fibre nerve endings, the sympathetic nervous system and spinal cord efferent motor nerves; characterized by vasomotor instability, hyperalgesia and impaired motor function; diagnosed from clinical presentation, symptoms reduction on administration of sympathetic nerve blockade, and intense, focal periarticular uptake of contrast medium in a delayed imaging-phase bone scan; treated by early, aggressive physical therapy to prevent contracture and muscle wasting, symptomatic relief by sympathetic nerve blockade, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsant medication; immobilization is contraindicated

  • complex regional pain syndrome type 1; CRPS 1; reflex sympathetic dystrophy; Sudek's atrophy; allodynia sympathetic nervous system-mediated acute pain and vasomotor instability, triggered by minor or surgical trauma without obvious nerve injury; affects women more than men; pain is excessive and out of proportion to severity of initiating injury; diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms aided by bone scan, laser Doppler studies and thermography; patients may show anxiety, depression and disturbed sleep; condition is difficult to manage; patients suspected of CRPS 1 should have early referral to a pain clinic (see Table 2); presents in three stages:

    • stage 1 acute phase, lasting 2-3 months, with regional severe burning pain, warmth and swelling triggered by stress/light touch, bone demineralization, skin trophic changes

    • stage 2 dystrophic phase/Sudek's atrophy; lasting for several months; characterized by constant unrelenting pain, exacerbated by any stimulus, and tissue cyanosis, coolness and induration, and diffuse osteoporosis

    • stage 3 atrophic phase, characterized by reduced/absent/intractable pain, irreversible atrophy of skin/subcutaneous tissues, flexion contractures of foot, advanced osteoporosis with a 'ground-glass' appearance on X-ray of affected bone

  • complex regional pain syndrome, type 2; CRPS 2; causalgia; sympathetic pain syndrome persistent and severe skin paraesthesia/burning sensations; caused by trauma to peripheral sensory nerve fibres; symptoms, progress and treatment are similar to that of CRPS 1

  • Conn's syndrome primary aldosteronism; characterized by headaches, thirst, nocturia, polyuria, hypovolaemia, fatigue, hypertension, alkalosis, and potassium depletion

  • constrictive band syndrome intrauterine development of deep, tight, circumferential folds around leg/foot, and compromised limb development distal to band (e.g. autoamputation; marked oedema of distal tissues); thought to relate to strands of amniotic membrane enwrapping the developing limb

  • Cushing's syndrome raised blood cortisol (e.g. due to pituitary tumour; long-term steroid therapy); characterized by central obesity, moon-like facies, acne, skin striae, hypertension, decreased carbohydrate tolerance and tendency to diabetes, female amenorrhoea and hirsutism

  • Down's syndrome chromosomal disorder (trisomy 21) characterized by congenital short stature, broad short hands/feet, characteristic facies (pronounced epicanthic skin folds, flat hypoplastic face, short nose, enlarged tongue), transverse palmar crease, very dry skin, learning difficulties; formerly termed mongolism

    Edwards' syndrome trisomy 18, with congenital characteristic facies (micrognathia, low-set ears), rocker-bottom feet, severe learning difficulties; affected children often die in early childhood

  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; Ehlers-Danlos diseases I-X hereditary connective tissue disorder characterized by collagen abnormality, marked generalized skin and blood vessel laxity, and joint hypermobility; skin is readily traumatized and heals slowly; see syndrome, hypermobility

  • Franconi's syndrome a form of anaemia associated with renal tubule dysfunction; adult Franconi's syndrome shows synostosis with osteomalacia, and acquired Franconi's syndrome is associated with multiple myeloma

  • Giles de la Tourette syndrome motor incoordination characterized by verbal, facial or limbic tics

  • Gorlin's syndrome multiple naevus-like basal cell carcinomata, causing small pits and depressions of palmar and plantar skin

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome; acute inflammatory polyneuropathy; acute idiopathic polyneuritis; infectious polyneuritis; postinfective polyneuropathy sudden-onset, acute, postviral polyneuritis; presents as distal pain, muscular weakness/flaccidity, paraesthesia; spreads proximally over 14-21 days; severe cases show spinal nerve involvement, with respiratory failure and limb paralysis (patient will require life support and anticoagulation to prevent deep-vein thrombosis); spontaneous recovery occurs over several weeks/months; some residual neuromotor effects may persist

  • Haglund's syndrome prominence of posterior superior lateral area of calcaneum, retrocalcaneal bursitis, Achilles tendon thickening and Achilles tendinitis; diagnostic rearfoot radiographic features include positive parallel pitch lines, loss of retrocalcaneal recess (indicating retrocalcaneal bursitis), Achilles tendon thickening, loss of distinct interface between Achilles tendon and pre-Achilles fat pad

  • heel pain syndrome see heel pain

  • heel spur syndrome see heel spur

  • Howel-Evans syndrome familial palmoplantar keratoderma, with increased risk of oesophageal cancer

  • Hurler's syndrome; lipochondrodystrophy; dysostosis multiplex autosomal-recessive inherited generalized lipid disturbance and mucopolysaccharoidosis, affecting cartilage, bone, skin, subcutaneous tissues, brain, liver and spleen; characterized by short stature, shortness of neck, trunk and digits, kyphosis, reduced joint mobility, learning difficulties, characteristic facies (so-called gargoylism) and visual impairment

  • hypermobility syndrome; joint hypermobility syndrome disordered collagen (types 1 and 3) structure, with associated decreased tensile strength of skin/structural tissues; characterized by generalized joint hypermobility, easy bruising, impaired healing, increasing incidence of joint/soft-tissue pain, joint dislocation and osteoarthritis; a presenting feature of benign familial joint hypermobility syndrome (BFJHS) (see Table 3), Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan syndrome and osteogenesis imperfecta

  • iliotibial band syndrome; ITBS; iliotibial band friction syndrome; ITBFS overuse-associated, friction-induced inflammation of ITB and associated bursa, where ITB moves over lateral femoral condyle (Gerdy's tubercle); due to repeated knee flexion and extension, especially in athletes/cyclists; presents as ITB pain at heel strike progressing to constant ITB pain; early-stage treatment includes a daily stretching programme (see Table 4) and application of heat (pre-exercise) and ice (postexercise) (see Table 5)

  • joint hypermobility syndrome see syndrome, hypermobility

  • lobster-claw syndrome extreme form of ectrodactyly; characterized by absence of third and fourth rays

  • Korsakoff's syndrome confusion and severe memory impairment with confabulation and Wernicke's syndrome, associated with chronic alcoholism

  • Lyell's syndrome drug-induced, acute skin sensitivity reaction; characterized by acute erythema, urticaria, vasculitis, purpura, marked exfoliation (peeling), flaccid bullae formation, subepidermal separation/detachment

  • Marfan's syndrome familial, autosomal-dominant, congenital changes in mesodermal and ectodermal tissues; characterized variably by musculoskeletal changes (e.g. increased height, excessive limb length, arachnodactyly; generalized tissue laxity and joint hypermobility), visual effects, and cardiovascular effects (e.g. aortic aneurysm)

  • medial tibial stress syndrome; MTSS; tibial fasciitis; shin splint muscle fatigue, reduced shock absorption, traction enthesiopathy and periostitis along anterior and posterior medial lower one-third of tibia (see Table 6) secondary to overuse/underpreparation for exercise; exacerbated by exercising on hard surfaces, especially in individuals who pronate excessively; treated by muscle-strengthening exercises, pre-exercise flexibility programme, modification of overall sports exercise programme (see Table 7), in conjunction with gait analysis, orthoses and correct shoe selection

  • Morquio's syndrome; type IV mucopolysaccharoidosis severe skeletal dysplasia including spine/thorax deformity, irregular epiphyses but normal shaft length of long bones, enlarged joints, flaccid ligaments, waddling gait and urinary abnormalities, due to autosomal-recessive error of mucopolysaccharide metabolism

  • Morton's syndrome congenital shortening of first metatarsal with apparent shortening of hallux and associated metatarsalgia

  • Munchausen's syndrome repeated fabrication of illness/symptoms of illness

  • Munchausen's syndrome by proxy repeated reporting of spurious illness/symptoms of illness by one person about another

  • musculoskeletal pain syndrome see polymyalgia rheumatica

  • nail-patella syndrome; hereditary arthrodysplasia autosomal-dominant abnormality of finger/toenails, absent/hypoplastic patella, defects of head of radius and iliac horns, and iris discoloration

  • nephrotic syndrome peripheral oedema, albuminuria, reduced plasma albumin (hypoalbuminaemia), refractory bodies in urine and raised blood cholesterol

  • nerve entrapment syndromes local nerve trunk compression (e.g. tibial, medial calcaneal lateral, first lateral branch of calcaneal, lateral plantar, high tibial, popliteal, deep peroneal, superficial, saphenous, sural or medial common hallucal nerves), as in tarsal/carpal tunnel syndromes, plantar digital neuritis, Morton's neuroma; characterized by distressing distal dermatomal sensory (e.g. pain and paraesthesia) and/or motor symptoms (e.g. muscle atrophy) (see Table 8)

  • Nievergelt-Pearlman syndrome rare autosomal-dominant bone disease causing lower-limb 'rhomboidal' tibia/fibula (crura rhomboidei), joint dysplasias, genu valgum, club foot, deformed toes; more common in males

  • overlap syndromes see mixed connective tissue diseases

  • patellofemoral joint syndrome see syndrome, runner's-knee

  • peroneal cuboid syndrome loss of rearfoot eversion due to long-standing peroneal tendon dysfunction/tendinitis; characterized by plantar pain from cuboid to first metatarsal

  • polycystic ovary syndrome see syndrome, Stein-Leventhal

  • Raynaud's syndrome concomitant Raynaud's disease (always affecting hands, and frequently feet) in patients with connective tissue disorders, characterized by generalized digital cyanosis, localized painful vasculitic lesions of dorsal forefoot (30% of cases) and apices of toes (20-25% of cases); subcutaneous calcinosis (20% of cases) may masquerade as a seed corn

  • Reiter's syndrome urethritis, iridocyclitis, arthritis, plantar enthesiopathy and heel spur formation, often triggered by earlier gastrointestinal Escherichia coli infection or exposure to a sexually transmitted disease (e.g. Chlamydia trachomatis); more common in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) B27 tissue-type males; see keratoderma blenorrhagicum

  • restless-leg syndrome overwhelming need to move the lower limbs constantly; characteristic of chronic renal failure; thought to be triggered by accumulation of metabolites and uraemia

  • Reye's syndrome cerebral oedema and death (in 50% of cases, usually children), provoked by aspirin therapy; aspirin is proscribed for children less than 16 years old

  • Riley-Day syndrome; familial dysautonomia autosomal-dominant complete indifference to pain; also characterized by orthostatic hypotension, hyperhidrosis and hyporeflexic/absent deep tendon reflexes, pes cavus and trophic plantar ulceration

  • Roussy-Levy syndrome; hereditary areflexic dystasia; Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease type II essential tremor, sensory ataxia, poor coordination and judgement of movement, kyphoscoliosis and distal muscle atrophy (especially peronei); autosomal-dominant inherited disease similar to CMT disease type 1, but developing in early childhood

  • runner's-knee syndrome mild lateral subluxation of patella in patellar groove; due to an increase in Q angle (i.e. >15°), often in association with excessive foot pronation, tibial varum, internal tibial torsion, weakened quadriceps group, malposition of vastus medialis, hard running surfaces or faulty sports shoes, leading to uneven pressure on anterolateral surface of femoral condyle and local pain; often affects female runners; treated by prescription orthoses to reduce torque, torsion and knee joint stress

  • scalded-skin syndrome scaled/peeling appearance of skin overlying areas of infection, or associated with adverse drug reactions

  • 'second-class travel' syndrome pulmonary thromboembolism due to prolonged periods of inactivity, e.g. passengers (who have been static for > 4 hours during long-haul intercontinental air flights) develop deep-vein thrombosis; the clot detaches, passing through venous circulation and heart, to block the pulmonary artery; characterized by sudden collapse and death; passengers on long-haul flights are advised to undertake leg muscle exercises regularly throughout the duration of the flight, wear 'antithrombotic' elasticated hosiery and consider medication with aspirin in the weeks before long-haul flight

  • sinus tarsi syndrome sensation of unsteadiness when walking on gravel/uneven ground and ongoing pain in lateral tarsal area just distal to and level with lateral malleolus, subsequent to inversion sprain/excess rearfoot pronation (e.g. as in rearfoot rheumatoid arthritis); local symptoms are exacerbated by heel inversion/eversion; treated by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, local immobilization, orthoses or steroid injection

  • SjÖgren's syndrome; sicca syndrome; keratoconjunctivitis sicca oral mucous membranes dryness, loss of lacrimal secretion, facial telangiectasias (i.e. butterfly rash), bilateral parathyroiditis (in younger women), strongly associated with rheumatoid arthritis and Raynaud's phenomenon

  • Stein-Leventhal syndrome; polycystic ovary syndrome multiple ovarian cyst formation, with associated menstrual abnormalities, infertility, enlarged ovaries, insulin resistance, obesity, acne, evidence of masculinization (e.g. hirsuitism) and increased tendency to type 2 diabetes mellitus; responds to treatment with oral contraceptive pill and/or metformin

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome widespread bullous erythema multiforme of skin/mucous membranes; due to hypersensitivity/drug reaction

  • talar compression syndrome posterior ankle pain when foot is maximally plantarflexed at ankle joint; due to compression of posterior tubercle of talus on posterior margin of distal end of tibia; note: similar condition occurs with os trigonum, which impinges on posteroinferior margin of tibia (see Table 9)

  • tarsal tunnel syndrome; TTS pain, paraesthesia and numbness in sole of foot; due to tibial nerve compression within tarsal tunnel; associated with excess foot pronation or rearfoot rheumatoid arthritis; symptoms reproduced by tapping the skin overlying distal medial malleolar area (Tinel's sign positive); conservative treatment includes valgus filler pads, cobra pads and medial heel wedges, or control of excessive rearfoot pronation with moulded cushioned orthoses worn with bespoke shoes, together with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; surgical treatment includes decompression procedures to free posterior tibial nerve and excise local fibrous structures (see tarsal tunnel)

  • distal tarsal tunnel syndrome isolated entrapment of medial/lateral plantar nerves; medial plantar nerve is compressed between navicular tuberosity and belly of abductor hallucis longus, causing 'jogger's foot'; first branch of lateral plantar nerve (Baxter's nerve) may be entrapped as it courses laterally between bellies of abductor hallucis and quadratus plantae (flexor accessories) muscles (see Table 10)

  • proximal tarsal tunnel syndrome entrapment of posterior tibial nerve/its branches deep to flexor retinaculum; due to excessive subtalar joint pronation (with narrowing of tarsal tunnel, e.g. in rheumatoid foot) due to entrapment within attachments of flexor retinaculum, compression by an enlarged abductor hallucis muscle belly, enlarged navicular tuberosity, accessory navicular, presence of os tibialis externum, ischaemic compromise of posterior tibial nerve, or varicosities within tarsal tunnel

  • trisomy 21 syndrome see syndrome, Down's

  • Turner's syndrome sex-chromosome (XO) abnormality affecting 1:2500 females, with characteristic morphology (web neck, short stature), infantilism and amenorrhoea, coarctation of aorta and peripheral oedema; feet are oedematous, short and broad, show excess subtalar joint pronation and hyperextended halluces; nails tend to involution, and affected subjects are prone to ingrowing nails

  • Werner's syndrome autosomal-recessive condition characterized by scleroderma-like skin, cataracts, progeria (premature senility), hypogonadism and diabetes mellitus

  • Wernicke's syndrome; Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome; Wernicke's encephalopathy brainstem ischaemia causing nystagmus and other ocular effects, tremors and ataxia, mental confusion, hypothermia and hypotension; more common in chronic alcoholics

  • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome congenital atrioventricular interconnection causing tachycardia and characteristic electrocardiogram pattern

  • yellow-nail syndrome see nail, yellow

Table 1: The major and minor diagnostic criteria of benign familial joint hypermobility syndrome (BFJHS)
Major criteria
Current/historic Brighton score of 4/9
Arthralgia for >3/12 in four or more joints
Minor criteria
Current/historic Brighton score of 1, 2 or 3/9 (0, 1, 2, 3/9 if >50 years old)
Arthralgia for minimum of 3 months in 1-3 joints, or back pain for minimum of 3 months, or spondylosis/spondylolysis/spondylolisthesis
Dislocation/subluxation of > one joint, or one episode of simultaneous dislocation/subluxation of more than one joint
Three or more lesions of soft-tissue rheumatism (e.g. spondylitis, tenosynovitis, bursitis)
Marfanoid habitus (i.e. tall, slim physique, span:height ratio >1.3, upper:lower segment ratio <0.89, arachnodactyly [+Steinberg/wrist signs])
Abnormal skin: striae, hyperextensibility, thin skin, papyraceous scarring
Eye signs: drooping eyelids, myopia, antimongoloid slant
Varicose veins or hernia or uterine/rectal prolapse

Note: BFJHS is diagnosed in the presence of two major criteria, or one major and two minor criteria, or four minor criteria (adapted from Grahame R, Bird HA, Child A, Dolan AL, Fowler-Edwards A, Ferrell W, Gurley-Green S, Keer R, Mansi E, Murray K, Smith E. The British Society Special Interest Group on Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue Criteria for the Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. "The Revised (Brighton 1998) Criteria for the Diagnosis of the BJHS". Journal of Rheumatology 2000; 27:1777-1779).

Table 2: Features of complex regional pain syndrome
PhaseFeatures
Acute phase (duration: 2-3 months)
Reversible
Severe burning pain, warmth, swelling and joint stiffness within a limb: not confined to a dermatome or myotome
Bone demineralization
Symptoms (exacerbated by limb dependence, contact or stress) persist for 2-3 months
Chronic phase (duration: several months)
Reversible
Pain continues
The limb becomes cool, firm and cyanotic
Radiographs show diffuse osteoporosis
Digits develop flexure contractures
Persists for several months
Atrophic phase
Irreversible
Pain diminishes or becomes intractable
Skin and subcutaneous tissues become atrophic
Flexion contractures in foot become fixed
Osteoporosis becomes advanced; bone has a 'ground-glass' appearance
Table 3: The major and minor diagnostic criteria of benign familial joint hypermobility syndrome (BFJHS)
Major criteria
Current/historic Brighton score of 4/9
Arthralgia for >3/12 in four or more joints
Minor criteria
Current/historic Brighton score of 1, 2 or 3/9 (0, 1, 2, 3/9 if >50 years old)
Arthralgia for minimum of 3 months in 1-3 joints, or back pain for minimum of 3 months, or spondylosis/spondylolysis/spondylolisthesis
Dislocation/subluxation of > one joint, or one episode of simultaneous dislocation/subluxation of more than one joint
Three or more lesions of soft-tissue rheumatism (e.g. spondylitis, tenosynovitis, bursitis)
Marfanoid habitus (i.e. tall, slim physique, span:height ratio >1.3, upper:lower segment ratio <0.89, arachnodactyly [+Steinberg/wrist signs])
Abnormal skin: striae, hyperextensibility, thin skin, papyraceous scarring
Eye signs: drooping eyelids, myopia, antimongoloid slant
Varicose veins or hernia or uterine/rectal prolapse

Note: BFJHS is diagnosed in the presence of two major criteria, or one major and two minor criteria, or four minor criteria (adapted from Grahame R, Bird HA, Child A, Dolan AL, Fowler-Edwards A, Ferrell W, Gurley-Green S, Keer R, Mansi E, Murray K, Smith E. The British Society Special Interest Group on Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue Criteria for the Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. "The Revised (Brighton 1998) Criteria for the Diagnosis of the BJHS". Journal of Rheumatology 2000; 27:1777-1779).

Table 4: Iliotibial band-stretching regime
Muscle groupAction (hold for 5-10 seconds; repeat ×5, three times a day)
Hip abductorStand erect, legs straight, feet together; stretch trunk (on frontal plane) towards the unaffected leg
Iliotibial bandLie on a bench on the unaffected side, with the unaffected hip and knee slightly flexed, in order to maintain balance; flex the affected hip and straighten the affected knee so that the affected leg hangs off the bench; allow the iliotibial band of the affected leg to be stretched by gravitational pull
Lie on a bench on the affected side with the affected leg in line with the body and the hip and knee locked; flex the unaffected (upper) leg; place the hands on the bench immediately under the shoulder and push the trunk upwards as far as possible to apply stretch to the lateral area of the affected leg
Upper iliotibial bandStand erect; with affected leg behind normal leg; stretch trunk (on frontal plane) towards unaffected side
Lower iliotibial bandStand erect as above, with the knee of the affected leg slightly flexed and hips rotated (on transverse plane) towards affected leg; stretch trunk (on frontal plane) towards the unaffected side
Iliotibial band and hamstringsStand erect, with the affected leg behind the normal leg so that the knee of the affected leg rests on the posterior aspect of the non-affected knee; rotate the trunk (on transverse plane) away from the affected leg and attempt to touch the heel of the affected leg
Table 5: Treatment regime for iliotibial band syndrome
VisitAction
1Examination
Including Nobel's and Ober's tests, and excluding other causes of knee joint pain
Gait analysis - walking and running
Check for presence of tibial varum, tibial torsion, uncompensated rearfoot varus and limb length discrepancy (include shoe wear pattern)
Instigate the iliotibial band stretching regime (see Table 11), with a quadriceps- and adductor-strengthening programme
Ice massage to painful area at lateral aspect of knee Advise reduction in athletic activity
2Commence physical therapies, e.g. cortisone iontorphoresis or ultrasound and ice massageStabilizing orthoses and/or foot and ankle taping, ± heel lift
Continue stretching programme ± massage
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (10-day course of 400 mg ibuprofen qds)
Stop all athletic activity if pain does not resolve
3Magnetic resonance imaging/computed tomographic scan to knee joint areaRefer to orthopaedics

Most cases will resolve with one treatment; more severe cases will require a second visit and some will require orthopaedic referral.

Table 6: Iliotibial band-stretching regime
Muscle groupAction (hold for 5-10 seconds; repeat ×5, three times a day)
Hip abductorStand erect, legs straight, feet together; stretch trunk (on frontal plane) towards the unaffected leg
Iliotibial bandLie on a bench on the unaffected side, with the unaffected hip and knee slightly flexed, in order to maintain balance; flex the affected hip and straighten the affected knee so that the affected leg hangs off the bench; allow the iliotibial band of the affected leg to be stretched by gravitational pull
Lie on a bench on the affected side with the affected leg in line with the body and the hip and knee locked; flex the unaffected (upper) leg; place the hands on the bench immediately under the shoulder and push the trunk upwards as far as possible to apply stretch to the lateral area of the affected leg
Upper iliotibial bandStand erect; with affected leg behind normal leg; stretch trunk (on frontal plane) towards unaffected side
Lower iliotibial bandStand erect as above, with the knee of the affected leg slightly flexed and hips rotated (on transverse plane) towards affected leg; stretch trunk (on frontal plane) towards the unaffected side
Iliotibial band and hamstringsStand erect, with the affected leg behind the normal leg so that the knee of the affected leg rests on the posterior aspect of the non-affected knee; rotate the trunk (on transverse plane) away from the affected leg and attempt to touch the heel of the affected leg
Table 7: Grades and characteristics of medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS)
GradeCharacteristic
1Pain on palpation of the anteromedial (or posteromedial) area of tibial crest
No pain during activity or exercise
2Pain after activity or exercise
No pain during activity or exercise
3Pain during activity or exercise
Pain after activity or exercise
4Pain and discomfort during normal walking
Continual pain during activity or exercise
Table 8: Phased treatment approach to medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS)
PresentationTreatment
Phase 1: acute phaseCessation of exercise activity until all pain resolves RICE(P)
Phase 2: rehabilitation phaseDeep compartment muscle exercise to strengthen the deep fascial-bone interface and reduce tension on the deep fascial insertion, in order to decrease pain and swelling and prevent fascial scarring
Phase 3: functional phaseUse of antipronatory/functional orthoses, strapping or taping in order to strengthen the fascial-bone interphase and prevent further excessive tension on the tibia
Phase 4: return to activityPhased and gradual return to normal levels of activity
Table 9: Presentations of nerve trunk irritation in the foot
Neuroma/lesionInvolved nerveLocation
Proximal tarsal tunnel syndromeBranches of the posterior tibial nerveMedial ankle area
Distal tarsal tunnel syndrome Jogger's footMedial plantar nerveBetween navicular tuberosity and belly of abductor hallucis
Distal tarsal tunnel syndrome Baxter's neuritisLateral plantar nerveBetween bellies of abductor hallucis, quadratus plantae and abductor digiti quinti minimi
Joplin's neuromaMedial plantar nerve properMedial area of first metatarsal head
Houser's neuromaFirst plantar intermetatarsal nerveBetween 1 and 2 metatarsals
Heuter's neuromaSecond plantar intermetatarsal nerveBetween 2 and 3 metatarsals
Morton's neuromaThird plantar intermetatarsal nerveBetween 3 and 4 metatarsals
Islen's neuromaFourth plantar intermetatarsal nerveBetween 4 and 5 metatarsals
Table 10: Accessory bones in the foot
Accessory bone in the footLocation
Os tibiale externum (accessory navicular)Within tibialis posterior tendon, adjacent to proximal part of navicular tuberosity
Os trigonumPosterior margin of talus
Os peroneumWithin peroneus longus tendon, adjacent to inferior lateral border of cuboid/calcaneocuboid joint
Os vesalianumAdjacent to fifth metatarsal base
Os intermetatarseumBetween bases of first and second metatarsals
Os interphalangeusWithin insertion of flexor hallucis longus tendon, adjacent to plantar area of hallux interphalangeal joint
Table 11: Presentations of nerve trunk irritation in the foot
Neuroma/lesionInvolved nerveLocation
Proximal tarsal tunnel syndromeBranches of the posterior tibial nerveMedial ankle area
Distal tarsal tunnel syndrome Jogger's footMedial plantar nerveBetween navicular tuberosity and belly of abductor hallucis
Distal tarsal tunnel syndrome Baxter's neuritisLateral plantar nerveBetween bellies of abductor hallucis, quadratus plantae and abductor digiti quinti minimi
Joplin's neuromaMedial plantar nerve properMedial area of first metatarsal head
Houser's neuromaFirst plantar intermetatarsal nerveBetween 1 and 2 metatarsals
Heuter's neuromaSecond plantar intermetatarsal nerveBetween 2 and 3 metatarsals
Morton's neuromaThird plantar intermetatarsal nerveBetween 3 and 4 metatarsals
Islen's neuromaFourth plantar intermetatarsal nerveBetween 4 and 5 metatarsals

necrolysis

separation or exfoliation of necrotic tissue.

toxic epidermal necrolysis
an acute exfoliative disease of skin and mucous membranes in dogs, cats and monkeys. Characterized by full thickness epidermal necrosis and accompanied by erythema, vesicles, bullae and ulcers, and systemic signs of fever, anorexia and lethargy. It is associated with concurrent infections or neoplasia, and drug reactions.

toxic

poisonous; pertaining to poisoning.

toxic algae
see algal poisoning.
toxic biotransformations
enzymatic changes of nontoxic to toxic substances, usually in the liver.
toxic epidermal necrolysis
see toxic epidermal necrolysis.
toxic fat syndrome
see chicken edema disease.
toxic granulation
see toxic granules.
toxic hepatitis, toxic liver disease
caused by a very large number of poisons including inorganic, organic, plant.
toxic myopathy
uncommon but is caused by e.g. gossypol, Cassia spp., monensin and the other ionophore coccidiostats.
toxic nephrosis
caused by many toxins, e.g. mercury, arsenic, copper, aminoglycoside antibiotics.
toxic shock
see toxemic shock.
toxic shock syndrome
see toxemic shock.