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January 1991

Pneumococcal Osteomyelitis and Arthritis in Children: A Hospital Series and Literature Review

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics, Cook County Hospital and University of Illinois School of Medicine, Chicago.

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(1):70-74. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160010076019

• Twenty-nine children with pneumococcal osteomyelitis and/or arthritis, 11 of whom had osteomyelitis, were treated at Cook County Hospital, Chicago, Ill, in the past 20 years. They were mostly normal children with a single focus of infection. They represented more than 5% of the hospitalized children with a systemic pneumococcal infection. Most of the pneumococcal isolates were serotyped; serotype 19, in particular, seemed to be unusually common in these children. Twenty-three of the 29 children with pneumococcal osteomyelitis and/or arthritis had been hospitalized in the past 15 years. These 23 children were compared with 161 hospitalized children who had bone and joint infections with other isolated bacteria. The children with pneumococcal osteomyelitis and/or arthritis were indistinguishable from most of the other children, except by age. All but three of the children with pneumococcal osteomyelitis and/or arthritis were between the ages of 3 and 24 months. In this age group, Pneumococcus was the common isolate from children with osteomyelitis, and second only to Haemophilus influenzae from children with bacterial arthritis. Pneumococcal osteomyelitis and/or arthritis has never been rare; the medical literature describes at least 245 other children, most of whom were younger than 2 years.

(AJDC. 1991;145:70-74)

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