HLA-A*31:01 and different types of carbamazepine-induced severe cutaneous adverse reactions: an international study and meta-analysis

Pharmacogenomics J. 2014 Jun;14(3):281-8. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2013.40. Epub 2013 Dec 10.


HLA-A*31:01 was reported to be associated with carbamazepine (CBZ)-induced severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCAR), including drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). We conducted an international study using consensus diagnosis criteria to enroll a total of 93 patients with CBZ-SCAR from Europe or Asia. We found that HLA-A*31:01 showed a significant association with CBZ-DRESS in Europeans (P<0.001; odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI))=57.6 (11.0-340)), and the strong association was also found in Chinese (P<0.001; OR (95% CI)=23.0 (4.2-125)). However, HLA-A*31:01 had no association with CBZ-SJS/TEN in neither Chinese nor Europeans. By comparison, HLA-B*15:02 showed a strong association with CBZ-SJS/TEN in Chinese (P<0.001, OR (95% CI)=58.1 (17.6-192)). A meta-analysis of this and other published studies confirmed that in all populations, HLA-A*31:01 had an extremely strong association with CBZ-DRESS (P<0.001, a pooled OR (95% CI)=13.2 (8.4-20.8)), but a much weaker association with CBZ-SJS/TEN (P=0.01, OR (95% CI)=3.94 (1.4-11.5)). Our data revealed that HLA-A*31:01 is a specific predictor for CBZ-DRESS but not for CBZ-SJS/TEN. More studies are needed to investigate the genetic determinant of CBZ-SJS/TEN in Europeans. Considering the potential clinical utility, the cost-effectiveness of the combined HLA-A*31:01 and HLA-B*15:02 genetic test to prevent CBZ-SCAR in Chinese needs further investigation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbamazepine / adverse effects
  • Carbamazepine / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • HLA-A Antigens / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Skin / drug effects*


  • HLA-A Antigens
  • Carbamazepine