Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Differential Diagnoses

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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Diagnostic Considerations

The gravity of the diagnosis must be recognized. Because patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) who present early in the development of the disease may not yet be critically ill, the clinician may misdiagnose the condition and discharge the patient. SJS should be considered in all patients with target lesions and mucous membrane involvement.

Other problems to be considered in the differential diagnosis include the following:

  • Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome

  • Irradiation

  • Trauma

  • Progressive systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)

  • Erythroderma ichthyosiform congenita

  • Porphyria cutanea tarda

  • Epidermolysis bullosa acquisita

  • Linear immunoglobulin A bullous disease

  • Paraneoplastic pemphigus

  • Bullous systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Corynebacterium diphtheriae conjunctivitis

  • Sebaceous cell carcinoma

  • Adenoviral conjunctivitis

  • Intraepithelial epithelioma

  • Acute generalized exanthematic pustulosis

Differential Diagnoses