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Pediatr Infect Dis. 1986 Nov-Dec;5(6):669-76.

Pyogenic arthritis in infants and children: a review of 95 cases.


The clinical and laboratory findings of 95 children with pyogenic arthritis were reviewed to assess etiologic agents, diagnostic tools and results of therapy. Despite obtaining specimens from multiple sites for culture and using antigen detection tests only 64% of patients had an etiologic agent determined. Haemophilus influenzae type b was the most common causative agent identified and 82% of such cases occurred in children between 6 and 24 months of age. Infection due to Staphylococcus aureus was not confined to any age group. Results of laboratory tests which measure inflammatory response were not always abnormal. Platelet count and sedimentation rate frequently rose as clinical improvement occurred. Roentgenograms and radionuclide studies were of little benefit. Therapy included immediate decompression of the joint space, articular rest and use of antibiotics delivered parenterally. Ninety percent of 70 patients who were followed for 1 month to 5 years (mean, 15.5 months) were cured. Eight children had clinically significant sequelae which affected length of extremity, stability of articulations and range of movement. Development of sequelae was significantly associated with infection at age less than 6 months, delay of 4 or more days in institution of medical or surgery treatment, infection due to S. aureus and most strikingly the involvement of the hip or shoulder with concomitant presence of osteomyelitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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