AJ Fyfe, P McKay



Bleomycin is an anti-neoplastic antibiotic used in chemotherapeutic regimens for Hodgkin lymphoma, testicular tumour and Kaposi’s sarcoma and to induce chemical pleurodesis in malignant effusions. Bleomycin toxicity predominantly affects the skin and lungs. Skin toxicity classically presents as flagellate erythema, a rare drug rash, where the patient appears to have been whipped. Bleomycininduced pneumonitis is more commonly recognised and can occasionally prove fatal. Although both these conditions are well documented in the literature, in clinical practice the are uncommon. Indeed, in our institution (a teaching hospital with a large lymphoma practice) we cannot recall a previous case of flagellate erythema. Both skin and lung toxicities induced by bleomycin usually respond to discontinuation of the drug and steroid therapy. We present two case studies of patients with bleomycin-related toxicity and a short synopsis of current literature.

Keywords ABVD chemotherapy, bleomycin, flagellate erythema, Hodgkin lymphoma, pneumonitis

Declaration of Interests No conflict of interests declared.