Volume 96, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Dapsone is a bactericidal and bacteriostatic against , a causative agent of leprosy. Dapsone is also applied in a range of medical fields because of its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Dapsone hypersensitivity syndrome (DHS) is a rare yet serious adverse drug reaction (ADR) caused by dapsone involving multiple organs. We performed a systematic review of published articles describing dapsone-induced hypersensitivity syndrome, including all Chinese articles and the latest literature available in online databases published between October 2009 and October 2015. We determined the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and mortality rate of DHS. Importantly, we also summarized the recent advances in genetic testing allowing prediction of ADRs. In an initial systematic electronic search, we retrieved 191 articles. Subsequently, these articles were further filtered and ultimately 84 articles (60 Chinese case reports, 21 non-Chinese articles, and three epidemiological studies) were selected, which included 877 patients. The prevalence of DHS among Chinese patients was 1.5% with a fatality rate of 9.6%. Early withdrawal of dapsone and appropriate treatment reduced the fatality rate. Most importantly, genetic screening for the HLA-B*13:01 allele among high-risk populations showed a significant utility as a useful genetic marker to DHS. In conclusion, this review discusses the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of DHS among Chinese patients, which may help physicians to understand this syndrome.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 01 Aug 2016
  • Accepted : 19 Dec 2016
  • Published online : 06 Feb 2017

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