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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1996 Jul;(328):54-9.

Long term evaluation of septic arthritis in hemophilic patients.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, USA.


Before 1983, septic arthritis was rare in patients with hemophilia. With the advent of human immunodeficiency virus infection in the hemophilia population, many centers noted an increasing incidence of patients with septic arthritis. Fifteen septic joints in 10 patients with severe hemophilia were documented. Eight patients were human immunodeficiency virus positive, 1 was human immunodeficiency virus negative, and 1 was not tested. The diagnosis was delayed in 5 patients because the symptoms are similar to an acute hemarthrosis. An elevated temperature was common. The white blood cell count was elevated in only 1/3 of the infections, being modified by human immunodeficiency virus infection. Associated risk factors included infected angioaccess catheters (2), pneumonia (2), and generalized sepsis (1). All but 1 joint responded to appropriate antibiotics and either repeated aspiration or arthrotomy. However, 6 patients died of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome from 2 to 109 months after infection. Three patients are alive 29, 86, and 96 months, respectively, after infection.

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