July 1977

Bacterial Meningitis and Septicemia in Sickle Cell Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, the Hastings Infectious Disease Laboratory, and the Sickle Cell Center of the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Am J Dis Child. 1977;131(7):784-787. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120200066014

• A total of 422 patients with sickle cell disorders have been observed for 3,442 patient years. During this period, 53 episodes of septicemia or meningitis occurred, indicating a risk of 12.5% from these infections for each individual. If only patients with SS hemoglobinopathy (sickle cell anemia) (323 patients) are considered, the risk was 15.2%. The case fatality ratios for sepsis and meningitis were 35% and 10%, respectively.

Disease due to Streptococcus pneumoniae occurred, almost exclusively, among children with SS hemoglobinopathy who were less than 5 years of age. After the first decade, illnesses among patients with all types of sickle cell disorders were frequently associated with an identifiable source of infection, a chronic course, and frequent involvement of Gram-negative organisms.

(Am J Dis Child 131:784-787, 1977)