INTRODUCTION: Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a rare condition characterised by mucocutaneous exfoliation of greater than 30% total body surface area (%TBSA), increasingly being treated in burns centres. The rate of mortality varies significantly in the literature, with recent prospective studies in non-burns centres reporting percentage mortality of approximately 45%. We undertook a systematic review of published studies that included TEN patients treated specifically in burns centres to determine a cumulative mortality rate. METHODS: Electronic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE and The Cochrane Library (Issue 4, 2010) databases from 1966 onwards were used to identify English articles related to the treatment of TEN in burns centres. RESULTS: The systematic literature search identified 20 studies which specifically described patients with TEN grater than 30% %TBSA. Treatment regimens varied amongst studies, as did mortality. The overall percentage mortality of the combined populations was 30%. Risk factors commonly described as associated with mortality included age, %TBSA and delay to definitive treatment. CONCLUSION: The review highlights the variation between principles of treatment and mortality amongst burns centres. It offers a standard that burns centre can use to internationally compare their mortality rates. The review supports the ongoing reporting of outcomes in TEN patients with epidermal detachment greater than 30%.