Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are rare but severe cutaneous adverse drug reactions, which can be caused by a certain number of specific drugs among which is carbamazepine, an antiepileptic agent. A very strong association of carbamazepine-induced SJS with HLA-B*1502 has recently been described in the Han Chinese population. Here in, we report preliminary results from a European study (RegiSCAR) of 12 carbamazepine-induced SJS/TEN cases (nine French and three German). Among these only four had a HLA-B*1502 allele. Remarkably, these four patients had an Asian ancestry, whereas the others did not as far as we have ascertained. This shows that although the HLA region may contain important genes for SJS, the HLA-B*1502 allele is not a universal marker for this disease and that ethnicity matters.
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