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December 18, 2019

Mucocutaneous Eruptions in Acutely Ill Pediatric Patients—Think of Mycoplasma pneumoniae (and Other Infections) First

Author Affiliations
  • 1Alberta Children’s Hospital, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 2University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
  • 3Deputy Editor, JAMA Dermatology
JAMA Dermatol. 2020;156(2):124-125. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.3589

A common challenge faced by pediatric dermatology consult services is concurrent skin changes in acutely ill children. The picture is more perplexing when mucous membranes are involved. Are these changes triggered by an underlying infection or one of the myriad medications the child has received? In this issue of JAMA Dermatology, Meyer Sauteur and colleagues1 shed light on that question by describing the mucocutaneous findings of a prospective cohort of children and adolescents with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. In the cohort of 44 children and adolescents 3 to 18 years of age with M pneumoniae CAP, almost one-quarter (10 of 44) of patients with M pneumoniae polymerase chain reaction (PCR)–positive CAP developed mucocutaneous reactions: 3 had M pneumoniae–induced rash and mucositis (MIRM), 2 had urticaria, and 5 had maculopapular eruptions. Less than 3% (3 of 108) of patients with other forms of CAP developed mucocutaneous eruptions, supporting the role of M pneumoniae as a common trigger of reactive skin conditions in children and adolescents.

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