Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Sweet Syndrome (Acute Febrile Neutrophilic Dermatosis)

Sweet Syndrome (Acute Febrile Neutrophilic Dermatosis) is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Medicine Central™ is a quick-consult mobile and web resource that includes diagnosis, treatment, medications, and follow-up information on over 700 diseases and disorders, providing fast answers—anytime, anywhere. Explore these free sample topics:

Medicine Central

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --



  • An uncommon inflammatory disorder of the skin that is characterized by the abrupt onset of painful, edematous, and erythematous lesions (papules, plaques, or nodules) (1). The lesions are often accompanied by fever and leukocytosis.
  • Histologically characterized by diffuse dermal infiltration of mature neutrophils, leukocytoclasis, papillary dermal edema, and an absence of vascular infiltration (vasculitis)
  • Classified into three main subtypes
    • Classic (idiopathic): majority of cases; often follows 1 to 3 weeks after an upper respiratory tract/GI infection; also associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis) and pregnancy
    • Malignancy-associated: may precede, appear simultaneously, or follow a hematologic malignancy or a solid tumor; more commonly associated with hematologic malignancies, most commonly acute myelogenous leukemia
    • Drug-induced: Multiple drugs have been implicated including cytokines, antiepileptics, antipsychotics, anti-inflammatory drugs (celecoxib, diclofenac), antihypertensives, antimicrobials (minocycline, ofloxacin, nitrofurantoin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole), immunosuppressives, antineoplastics, retinoids, and oral contraceptives (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol). The cytokine, G-CSF is most frequently reported; usually occurs ~2 weeks following drug exposure, with recurrence when reexposed to the drug
  • Extracutaneous manifestations of the disease have been reported in almost every organ system.
  • Synonym: acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis


  • Manifests at any age, classic peaks at 30 to 60 years of age
  • Often based on subtype
    • Classic: 80% are women; 75–90% have a prior upper respiratory infection (URI); 30% recurrence
    • Drug-induced: 71% are women; 67% recurrence
    • Malignancy-associated: underlying hematologic malignancy: 50% are women; underlying solid tumor: 59% are women.
  • There is no racial predilection.

Etiology and Pathophysiology

  • Pathogenesis is multifactorial. Theorized factors include hypersensitivity reactions, cytokine dysregulation, and infection.
  • This may include an imbalance and dysregulation of neutrophils and Type 1 T helper cells with a hypersensitivity reaction to bacterial, viral, or tumor antigen; or the effect of cytokines, specifically G-CSF, GM-CSF.

Abnormalities in chromosome 3q. In Japanese patients, HLA B-54 has been linked.

Risk Factors

Female sex, upper respiratory tract infection, pregnancy, hematologic malignancy, myelodysplastic syndrome, solid neoplasias, medications (antiepileptics, oral contraceptives, antimicrobials, antihypertensives, immunosuppressives, antineoplastics, anti-inflammatories), inflammatory conditions [IBD], autoimmune diseases)

Commonly Associated Conditions

  • Upper respiratory/GI infection
  • IBD (both Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • Pregnancy
  • Neutrophilic dermatoses, including erythema elevatum diutinum, neutrophilic eccrine hidradenitis, and pyoderma gangrenosum
  • Hematologic cancers, most frequently associated with acute myelocytic leukemia and acute promyelocytic leukemia
  • May occur in settings of patients with hematologic disorders
  • Paraneoplastic syndrome
  • Drug-induced dermatosis secondary to all-trans retinoic acid, G-CSF, and imatinib
  • Simultaneously with leukemia cutis

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --


Stephens, Mark B., et al., editors. "Sweet Syndrome (Acute Febrile Neutrophilic Dermatosis)." 5-Minute Clinical Consult, 27th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019. Medicine Central, im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816444/all/Sweet_Syndrome__Acute_Febrile_Neutrophilic_Dermatosis_.
Sweet Syndrome (Acute Febrile Neutrophilic Dermatosis). In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, et al, eds. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 27th ed. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816444/all/Sweet_Syndrome__Acute_Febrile_Neutrophilic_Dermatosis_. Accessed April 24, 2019.
Sweet Syndrome (Acute Febrile Neutrophilic Dermatosis). (2019). In Stephens, M. B., Golding, J., Baldor, R. A., & Domino, F. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Available from https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816444/all/Sweet_Syndrome__Acute_Febrile_Neutrophilic_Dermatosis_
Sweet Syndrome (Acute Febrile Neutrophilic Dermatosis) [Internet]. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, Domino FJ, editors. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. [cited 2019 April 24]. Available from: https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816444/all/Sweet_Syndrome__Acute_Febrile_Neutrophilic_Dermatosis_.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Sweet Syndrome (Acute Febrile Neutrophilic Dermatosis) ID - 816444 ED - Stephens,Mark B, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816444/all/Sweet_Syndrome__Acute_Febrile_Neutrophilic_Dermatosis_ PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -