Clinical presentations and causative organisms in children and adolescents with osteoarticular infections: A retrospective study

Soyoung Lee, Han Wool Kim, Hye Kyung Cho, Yoe Hon Yun, Kyung Ha Ryu, Kyung Hyo Kim

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Purpose: Osteoarticular infections in children and adolescents are important because it can cause functional compromise if appropriate treatment is delayed. Therefore, this study was designed to describe the clinical presentations and causative organisms of osteoarticular infections in children and adolescents in order to propose early diagnosis method and an appropriate empiric antimicrobial therapy. Methods: Forty-two medical records were reviewed retrospectively, which were confirmed as osteomyelitis (OM) or septic arthritis (SA) at Department of Pediatrics or Orthopedic Surgery in patients under 18 years old of Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital from March 2008 to March 2015. Results: We identified 21 cases of OM, 13 cases of SA and 8 cases of OM with SA. There were 31 males and 11 females and mean age was 7.1 years old. The most common symptoms were pain and tenderness of involved site. Major involved bones were femur (10 cases, 34.5%), tibia (7 cases, 24.1%) and major involved joints were hip (9 cases, 42.9%), and knee (5 cases, 23.8%). Increased serum C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate were observed in 37 cases (88.1%) respectively. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 40 cases among 42 cases and was used to demonstrate osteoarticular infections and other adjacent infections. Nine cases (23.7%) among 38 cases and 20 cases (50.0%) among 40 cases were positive in blood culture and infected site culture respectively. The most common causative organism was Staphylococcus aureus , which was represented in 22 cases (75.9%), of which nine cases (40.9%) were resistant to methicillin. Conclusions: S. aureus was the most common causative organism of osteoarticular infections in children and adolescents and the proportion of MRSA was high in this study. Therefore, we recommend vancomycin as the first empiric antimicrobial therapy and suggest that further study is necessary to elucidate an appropriate guideline for treatment which takes into account MRSA proportion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Infection and Vaccine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Korean Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. All rights reserved.


  • Osteomyelitis
  • Septic arthritis


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