The thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) level in serum at an early stage of a drug eruption is a prognostic biomarker of severity of systemic inflammation.
In severe drug eruptions, precise evaluation of disease severity at an early stage is needed to start appropriate treatment. It is not always easy to diagnose these conditions at their early stage. In addition, there are no reported prognostic biomarkers of disease severity in drug eruptions. The aim of this study was to test whether the thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) level in serum at an early stage of a drug eruption can serve as a prognostic biomarker of systemic inflammation.
Study participants included 76 patients who received a diagnosis of a drug eruption, one of the following: drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms/drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome, maculopapular exanthema, and erythema multiforme. Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)/toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) was eliminated in this study because scoring system for evaluating the severity was established. Correlation coefficients between serum TARC levels and indicators of systemic inflammation, including the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, Glasgow prognostic score, modified systemic inflammatory response syndrome (mSIRS) score, and C-reactive protein in serum were evaluated.
Serum TARC levels positively correlated with the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, Glasgow prognostic score, mSIRS score, C-reactive protein, albumin, white blood cell count, body temperature, and pulse rate. TARC levels negatively correlated with systolic blood pressure. Among these parameters, the mSIRS score showed strong correlation (correlation coefficient: 0.68).
Serum TARC levels correlate well with indicators of systemic inflammation and of disease severity among patients with a drug eruption except SJS/TEN. Serum TARC may be a prognostic biomarker of severity of inflammation in drug eruptions.