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Pediatrics. 2008 Jun;121(6):1188-97. doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-2657.

Streptococcal infection and exacerbations of childhood tics and obsessive-compulsive symptoms: a prospective blinded cohort study.

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  • 1University of Rochester School of Medicine, Mt Hope Professional Building, 1351 Mt Hope Ave, Suite 100, Rochester, NY 14620, USA. roger_kurlan@urmc.rochester.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

If pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections is a unique clinical entity, we hypothesized that children meeting diagnostic criteria would have more clinical exacerbations temporally linked to bona fide group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus infection than matched control subjects (chronic tic and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder with no known temporal relationship to group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus infection).

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Subjects included 40 matched pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections case-control pairs who were prospectively evaluated with intensive laboratory testing for group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus and clinical measures for an average of 2 years. Additional testing occurred at the time of any clinical exacerbations or illness. Laboratory personnel were blinded to case or control status and clinical (exacerbation or not) condition. Clinical raters were blinded to the results of laboratory tests.

RESULTS:

The cases had a higher clinical exacerbation rate and a higher bona fide group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus infection rate than the control group. Only 5 of 64 exacerbations were temporally associated (within 4 weeks) with a group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus infection, and all occurred in cases. The number (5.0) was significantly higher than the number that would be expected by chance alone (1.6). Yet, >/=75% of the clinical exacerbations in cases had no observable temporal relationship to group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus infection.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients who fit published criteria for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections seem to represent a subgroup of those with chronic tic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder who may be vulnerable to group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus infection as a precipitant of neuropsychiatric symptom exacerbations. Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus infection is not the only or even the most common antecedent event associated with exacerbations for these patients. Additional intensive studies are needed to determine whether there is clinical or scientific evidence to support separating out subgroups of tic disorder and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder patients based on specific symptom precipitants.

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PMID:
18519489
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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