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Pediatric drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms: A systematic review of the literature.

BACKGROUND: Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) is a severe adverse drug reaction including integumentary and internal organs. An extensive literature review of DRESS in the pediatric population has not been performed.

METHODS: A literature search was performed to find reports of pediatric DRESS published between 1997 and March 2019. If not already included, each case was scored based on RegiSCAR criteria. Only "probable" or "definite" cases of DRESS were included in the analysis, totaling 130 cases.

RESULTS: In the pediatric population, the average age of diagnosis for DRESS was 8.7 years old. The most common causative drugs include antiepileptics (50%) and antibiotics (30.8%). Time from drug exposure to DRESS presentation averaged 23.8 days. Common clinical symptoms include rash (99.2%) (typically morbilliform (89.2%)), fever (96.2%), eosinophilia (90%), and lymphadenopathy (74.6%). Human herpesvirus-6 reactivation was observed in 16.1% of cases. The most commonly affected internal organ was the liver (80%), followed by the spleen (21.5%) and kidney (15.4%). Management strategies involved, either alone or in combination, included corticosteroids (intravenous 60.8% and oral 41.5%), intravenous immunoglobulins (12.3%), plasmapheresis (2.3%), and ganciclovir (1.5%). Long-term sequelae occurred in 10.8% of patients, most commonly hypothyroidism (3.8%), liver failure (3.1%), and diabetes (2.3%). The mortality rate was 5.4%.

CONCLUSION: This literature review highlights the presentation and course of pediatric DRESS. Morbilliform eruption, fever, and eosinophilia appear to be clinical hallmarks of pediatric DRESS. Common causative agents, specifically carbamazepine, are comparable to the adult population. Furthermore, the mortality rate from DRESS is significant and is similar between pediatric and adult patients.

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