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WAO Medical Book Review

Posted: June 2014

Adverse Cutaneous Drug Eruptions
Series: Chemical Immunology and Allergy
Edited by: L.E. French
(Series edited by: J Ring, K Blaser, M Capron, JA Denburg, ST Holgate, G Marone, H Saito) 
2012 Karger
ISBN: 978-3-8055-9970-2 (hardcover)
eISBN: 978-3-8055-9971-9 (digital)

List price: USD 233.00 | CFH 198.00
Available from: Karger

Enrico Heffler, MD, PhD
University of Torino, Italy
Department of Medical Sciences – Allergy and Clinical Immunology Unit

Dermatological clinical manifestations of allergies comprise a high variety of skin lesions which are sometimes not easy to recognize even for expert doctors. Most drug allergic reactions involve the skin with a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations and different severity; therefore, promptly recognizing and treating these clinical manifestations are both crucial to restore/preserve patient health and to accurately indentify the offending drug that elicited the allergic reaction.

This well written and easy-to-read textbook reports a comprehensive list of dermatological manifestations of drug hypersensitivity with the help of many high-quality pictures which provide a resource for the reader to promptly recognize the skin lesions seen in real life clinical settings. For each clinical manifestation the authors explain in detail the possible offending drugs, the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, modalities to perform an accurate diagnostic work-up, and treatment options.

This is not only a textbook on skin lesions in drug hypersensitive reactions but also a treatise on drug allergy itself as well as its underlying immunological mechanisms and how to optimally diagnose it.

The clear purpose of this textbook is to make easier for readers a very complex topic such as drug allergy and its dermatological manifestations, and I personally think that the authors completely achieved this purpose.

The content is organized into 16 sections. The first four sections summarize the current knowledge about etiology, epidemiology, genetics, and diagnostic approaches of drug hypersensitivity. These are followed by a section on histopathological patterns indicative of distinct adverse drug reactions. The following seven sections describe different skin lesions indicative of drug hypersensitivity, while the last four chapters treat particular and novel aspects of drug allergy such as allergic reactions to radiocontrast media, new oncological drugs and biologicals, and desensitization protocols for several drugs.

Assessment and Audience
A comprehensive overview of drug hypersensitivity, its molecular/immunological mechanisms, diagnostic approach and clinical dermatological features can be very useful for specialists in allergy, general practitioners, and medical students.