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Volume 36, Number 4, December 2003

Acute hematogenous osteomyelitis and septic arthritis in children

Hui-Chen Kao, Yhu-Chering Huang, Cheng-Hsun Chiu, Luan-Yin Chang, Zhon-Liau Lee, Pei-Wen Chung, Feng-Chen Kao, Tzou-Yien Lin
Department of Pediatrics, Li-Shin Hospital, Taiwan, ROC



This retrospective study analyzed the clinical, bacteriological, and radiological features of pediatric patients with acute hematogenous osteomyelitis and septic arthritis. Eighty-four patients with septic arthritis and 39 with acute hematogenous osteomyelitis were enrolled. Their age ranged from 13 days to 17 years. In patients with septic arthritis, the hip joint was the most often infected site. The tibia was the most often involved site in acute hematogenous osteomyelitis. A bacteriological diagnosis was established in 78 (63%) patients. Overall, methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (36 cases) was the most common causative organism identified, followed by methicillin-resistant S. aureus (10 cases). The median duration of antibiotic therapy was 33 days. Serum bactericidal titers were obtained for 19 (15%) of the 123 patients. The median duration of hospitalization and antibiotic treatment was not significantly different between patients with and without serum bactericidal titer testing. More patients without serum bactericidal titer testing had symptom relapse which required re-admission for further treatment. In conclusion, the incidence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus as a cause of bone and joint infections has been increasing. Serum bactericidal titer is valuable for the management of patients receiving sequential therapy for acute hematogenous osteomyelitis and septic arthritis.



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2003;36:260-265.