Carbamazepine-induced pseudolymphoma with CD-30 positive cells

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 May;38(5 Pt 2):806-9. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(98)70463-3.


A 44-year-old woman known to be allergic to phenytoin was treated with carbamazepine for 1 month and developed fever, lymphadenopathy, pneumonitis, hepatitis, and a morbilliform eruption. A skin biopsy specimen showed atypical lymphocytes in the dermis that were CD-3+, CD-30+, and L26-. T-cell gene rearrangement studies were negative. A diagnosis of anticonvulsant hypersensitivity syndrome with histologic features of a pseudolymphoma was made and her illness quickly improved after carbamazepine was discontinued. This case was typical of the anticonvulsant hypersensitivity syndrome and demonstrated cross-reactivity among the aromatic anticonvulsants. However, to our knowledge, this represents the first report of a carbamazepine-induced hypersensitivity with histologic features of a cutaneous pseudolymphoma, including CD-30+ cells.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Antigens, CD20 / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • CD3 Complex / analysis
  • Carbamazepine / adverse effects*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / etiology
  • Cross Reactions
  • Drug Eruptions / etiology
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Female
  • Fever / chemically induced
  • Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte
  • Humans
  • Ki-1 Antigen / analysis*
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Pneumonia / chemically induced
  • Pseudolymphoma / chemically induced*
  • Pseudolymphoma / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Skin Diseases / pathology
  • Syndrome


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antigens, CD20
  • CD3 Complex
  • Ki-1 Antigen
  • Carbamazepine