Successful Intravenous Immunoglobulin Treatment in Pediatric Severe DRESS Syndrome

Nufar Marcus, Keren Smuel, Moran Almog, Dario Prais, Rachel Straussberg, Daniel Landau, Oded Scheuerman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) is a rare, potentially life-threatening delayed drug-induced hypersensitivity reaction. The most frequently reported drugs causing DRESS are aromatic antiepileptic agents. Prompt withdrawal of the offending drug and administering systemic corticosteroids is the most widely accepted and used treatment. The treatment of severe DRESS not responsive to systemic corticosteroids is uncertain. Objective: The objective of this study was to describe a case series of pediatric patients with DRESS who were treated successfully with intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIGs). Methods: A retrospective review of all children hospitalized in a tertiary care children's hospital with severe DRESS syndrome who received IVIG in addition to offending drug withdrawal and systemic corticosteroids during 1999-2017 is performed. Results: Seven severe DRESS patients (4 males, age: 9.5 ± 5.7 years) are described. The offending drugs were antiepileptics in all but one case. Clinical findings included fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, dyspnea, anasarca, and hepatic involvement. After IVIG treatment (total dosage: 1-2 g/kg), fever resolved within a median time of 1 (range, 0-5) day, rash disappeared after 6.3 ± 1.6 days, and liver enzymes substantially improved after 3.8 ± 1.6 days. Patients were discharged 6.1 ± 2.7 days after IVIG commencement. There was no mortality. Conclusion: The addition of IVIG in DRESS syndrome resistant to regular drug withdrawal and systemic corticosteroid therapy may hasten disease recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238-1242
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • DRESS syndrome
  • Intravenous immunoglobulins
  • Pediatric


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