Clinical aspects of severe cutaneous adverse reactions caused by beta-lactam antibiotics: A study from the Korea SCAR registry

Min Hye Kim, Dong Yoon Kang, Young Hee Nam, Da Woon Sim, Sujeong Kim, Jun Kyu Lee, Jung Won Park, Hye Kyung Park, Jae Woo Jung, Cheol Woo Kim, Min Suk Yang, Joo Hee Kim, Young Min Ye, Young Il Koh, Hye Ryun Kang, Seoung Ju Park, Sae Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Although beta-lactams are 1 of the major causative agents of severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCAR), their epidemiology and clinical aspects have been poorly studied. This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of SCAR caused by beta-lactams in the Korean SCAR registry. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed beta-lactam-induced SCAR cases collected from 28 tertiary university hospitals in Korea between 2010 and 2015. The SCAR phenotypes included Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), SJS-TEN overlap, and drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS). Beta-lactams were classified according to their chemical structures: penicillins, cephalosporins, and carbapenems. The causative beta-lactams, clinical and laboratory features, treatments, and outcomes were evaluated. Results: Among the 275 antibiotic-induced SCAR cases, 170 patients developed SCAR induced by beta-lactams. Beta-lactam antibiotic-induced SCAR showed more frequent SJS/TEN compared to SCAR induced by non-beta-lactam antibiotics (SJS/TEN/SJS-TEN overlap/DRESS: 36.5/11.2/5.9/46.5% vs. 23.8/10.5/2.9/62.9%, P = 0.049). Cephalosporin was the most common culprit drug. Particularly, 91 and 79 patients presented with SJS/TEN and DRESS, respectively. The odds ratio (OR) for poor prognosis, such as sequelae and death, was significantly increased in subjects with SJS-TEN overlap and TEN and carbapenem as culprit drug in the multivariate analysis (OR, 35.61; P = 0.016, OR, 28.07; P = 0.006, OR 30.46; P = 0.027). Conclusion: Among antibiotic-induced SCAR, clinical features were different depending on whether the culprit drug was a beta-lactam antibiotic or SCAR type. The poor prognosis was related to SJS-TEN overlap, TEN type, and carbapenem as the culprit drug.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100738
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


  • Antibacterial agents
  • Beta-lactams
  • Drug hypersensitivity syndrome
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical aspects of severe cutaneous adverse reactions caused by beta-lactam antibiotics: A study from the Korea SCAR registry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this