HLA-B*5801 allele as a genetic marker for severe cutaneous adverse reactions caused by allopurinol

Shuen Lu Hung, Wen Hung Chung, Lieh Bang Liou, Chen Chung Chu, Marie Lin, Hsien Ping Huang, Yen Ling Lin, Joung Liang Lan, Li Cheng Yang, Hong Shang Hong, Ming Jing Chen, Ping Chin Lai, Mai Szu Wu, Chia Yu Chu, Kuo Hsien Wang, Chien Hsiun Chen, Cathy S J Fann, Jer Yuarn Wu, Yuan Tsong Chen

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1016 Citations (Scopus)


Allopurinol, a commonly prescribed medication for gout and hyperuricemia, is a frequent cause of severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCAR), which include the drug hypersensitivity syndrome, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis. The adverse events are unpredictable and carry significant morbidity and mortality. To identify genetic markers for allopurinol-SCAR, we carried out a case-control association study. We enrolled 51 patients with allopurinol-SCAR and 228 control individuals (135 allopurinol-tolerant subjects and 93 healthy subjects from the general population), and genotyped for 823 SNPs in genes related to drug metabolism and immune response. The initial screen revealed strong association between allopurinol-SCAR and SNPs in the MHC region, including BAT3 (encoding HLA-B associated transcript 3), MSH5 (mutS homolog 5), and MICB (MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence B) (P <10-7). We then determined the alleles of HLA loci A, B, C, and DRB1. The HLA-B*5801 allele was present in all (100%) 51 patients with allopurinol-SCAR, but only in 20 (15%) of 135 tolerant patients [odds ratio 580.3 (95% confidence interval, 34.4-9780.9); corrected P value = 4.7 × 10-24] and in 19 (20%) of 93 of healthy subjects [393.51 (23.23-6665.26); corrected P value = 8.1 × 10-18]. HLA alleles A*3303, Cw*0302, and DRB1*0301 were in linkage disequilibrium and formed an extended haplotype with HLA-B*5801. Our results indicated that allopurinol-SCAR is strongly associated with a genetic predisposition in Han Chinese. In particular, HLA-B*5801 allele is an important genetic risk factor for this life-threatening condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4134-4139
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2005


  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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