Clinical report and predictors of sequelae of 319 cases of pediatric bacterial osteomyelitis


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Pediatric osteomyelitis is an insidious disease that can lead to permanent sequelae, the management of which still relies on lengthy intravenous antibiotic therapy. The purpose of this study is to report and describe the clinical course and outcome of pediatric bacterial osteomyelitis in our experience. We reported the clinical, diagnostic, and treatment characteristics of all cases of osteomyelitis in children younger than 18 years of age who were hospitalized between January 2010 and December 2021 at the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome, Italy, we compared patients with and without complications at follow-up, to identify any predictive factor for sequelae. The study sample included 319 cases of pediatric bacterial osteomyelitis. The median age was 7.77 years. Males (60.8%) were more affected than females. The most affected bones were the femur, tibia, and spine. Etiology was identified in 40.1% of cases, with S.aureus as the most common causative agent. Sequelae were reported in 43 cases (13.5%). The main predictors of sequelae were sepsis on admission and hypergammaglobulinemia. Our results show that a severe presentation with sepsis and hypergammaglobulinemia on admission may be associated with a higher frequency of late sequelae. Early recognition and aggressive treatment of this subgroup of patients may lead to a reduction in complications.
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