OBJECTIVE: To characterize, among European and Han Chinese populations, the genetic predictors of maculopapular exanthema (MPE), a cutaneous adverse drug reaction common to antiepileptic drugs.
METHODS: We conducted a case-control genome-wide association study of autosomal genotypes, including Class I and II human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles, in 323 cases and 1,321 drug-tolerant controls from epilepsy cohorts of northern European and Han Chinese descent. Results from each cohort were meta-analyzed.
RESULTS: We report an association between a rare variant in the complement factor H-related 4 (CFHR4) gene and phenytoin-induced MPE in Europeans (p = 4.5 × 10-11; odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 7 [3.2-16]). This variant is in complete linkage disequilibrium with a missense variant (N1050Y) in the complement factor H (CFH) gene. In addition, our results reinforce the association between HLA-A*31:01 and carbamazepine hypersensitivity. We did not identify significant genetic associations with MPE among Han Chinese patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The identification of genetic predictors of MPE in CFHR4 and CFH, members of the complement factor H-related protein family, suggest a new link between regulation of the complement system alternative pathway and phenytoin-induced hypersensitivity in European-ancestral patients.