Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatrics. 2011 Dec;128(6):1161-7. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-0948. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Delayed acyclovir and outcomes of children hospitalized with eczema herpeticum.

Author information

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



To describe the epidemiology and outcomes of children hospitalized with eczema herpeticum and to determine the association with delayed acyclovir on outcomes.


This was a multicenter retrospective cohort study conducted between January 1, 2001, and March 31, 2010, of 1331 children aged 2 months to 17 years with eczema herpeticum from 42 tertiary care children's hospitals in the Pediatric Health Information System database. Multivariable linear regression models determined the association between delayed acyclovir therapy and the main outcome measure: hospital length of stay (LOS).


There were no deaths during the study period. Staphylococcus aureus infection was diagnosed in 30.3% of the patients; 3.9% of the patients had a bloodstream infection. Fifty-one patients (3.8%) required ICU admission. There were 893 patients (67.1%) who received acyclovir on the first day of admission. The median LOS increased with each day delay in acyclovir initiation. In multivariable analysis, delay of acyclovir initiation by 1 day was associated with an 11% increased LOS (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3%-20%; P = .008), and LOS increased by 41% when acyclovir was started on day 3 (95% CI: 19%-67%; P < .001) and by 98% when started on day 4 to 7 (95% CI: 60%-145%; P < .001). Use of topical corticosteroids on day 1 of hospitalization was not associated with LOS.


Delay of acyclovir initiation is associated with increased LOS in hospitalized children with eczema herpeticum. Use of topical corticosteroids on admission is not associated with increased LOS. The mortality rate of hospitalized children with eczema herpeticum is low.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center