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J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2008 Oct;21(5):289-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2008.07.014.

Trends in illness severity and length of stay in inner-city adolescents hospitalized for pelvic inflammatory disease.

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  • 1Section of Adolescent Medicine, Denver Health, University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences, Denver, Colorado, USA. PKaul@dhha.org



In 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed their guidelines for treatment of adolescents with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), no longer recommending hospitalization of all teenagers.


(1) To determine the proportion of adolescents with PID who were admitted for failed outpatient treatment after the CDC guideline change. (2) To determine if adolescents admitted for PID after the guideline change needed longer hospital stays and/or were more likely to be "very ill" [as measured by inflammation markers, e.g. fever] or to have tubo-ovarian abscess (TOA) than those admitted before the change.


Retrospective chart review


All 12-21-year-old females with the diagnosis of PID admitted to an adolescent inpatient unit in an inner-city teaching hospital during a two-year period before [T1=1995-1997 (54 cases)] and after [T2=1998-2000 (91 cases)] the CDC guideline change.




Reason for admission (failed outpatient treatment; TOA; or admission at the time of diagnosis of PID); clinical toxicity at admission, and length of hospital stay (LOS).


During T2, 22% of PID admissions were for failure of outpatient therapy. However, those admitted after failure of outpatient therapy (n=20) in T2 were less likely to be "very ill" than those who were admitted at the time of PID diagnosis in either T1 or T2 (n=123) [RR:0.30; 95% CI:0.09-0.94]. Mean LOS for females admitted to the adolescent unit with all diagnoses other than PID did not change between T1 and T2 but mean LOS for those diagnosed with PID decreased significantly from 6.3 +/- 3.7 days to 4.7 +/- 2.7 days, respectively (P = 0.002). LOS for PID was longer for younger (<16 years; 8.20 +/- 4.5 days) than older (> or =16 years; 5.0 +/- 2.8 days) girls (P = 0.02) and for adolescents with TOA (7.9 +/- 5.0 days) than for those without (5.3 +/- 2.9 days) (P = 0.05).


At our medical center, after the CDC guideline change many adolescents with PID were admitted because of failure of outpatient therapy but they were not sicker than those admitted at the time of diagnosis and overall LOS for PID was shorter. These findings are reassuring because they suggest that an initial trial of outpatient therapy for PID is unlikely to harm adolescents and may lead to significant cost savings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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