PMID: 11601669Oct 17, 2001Paper

Biopsy-proved acute tubulointerstitial nephritis and toxic epidermal necrolysis associated with vancomycin

S I Hsu


A 70-year-old man receiving vancomycin for a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) abscess developed a drug-induced hypersensitivity reaction with rash, eosinophilia, and acute renal failure requiring dialysis. Renal biopsy revealed diffuse and marked interstitial and tubular infiltration by mononuclear cells and eosinophils; acute tubulointerstitial nephritis (TIN) was diagnosed. The rash progressed to erythema multiforme major after rechallenge with vancomycin in the setting of MRSA peritoneal catheter-related peritonitis and then to fatal toxic epidermal necrolysis in the setting of steroid taper and persistent serum vancomycin levels. This case further implicates vancomycin as a drug that infrequently can cause severe acute TIN and exfoliative dermatitis. When a renally excreted drug such as vancomycin is administered, serum drug levels should be serially monitored and high-dosage steroids be maintained or tapered slowly until serum drug levels become undetectable.


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