Osteoarticular infections in children with sickle cell disease

G. A. Syrogiannopoulos, G. H. McCracken, J. D. Nelson

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41 Scopus citations


Thirteen children with sickle cell disease were identified as having 14 episodes of osteoarticular infection in a review of 27 years' experience. There were eight episodes of osteomyelitis or osteoarthritis and six of suppurative arthritis alone. The etiologic agents in osteomyelitis or osteoarthritis were Salmonella sp in four cases, Escherichia coli in one, Enterobacter aerogenes in one, Staphylococcus aureus in one, and Haemophilus influenzae type b in one. Five of the cases with infection limited to the joint were caused by Streptotoccus pneumoniae; the sixth was caused by H influenzae type b. Fever (≥ 38.3°C) was present in all children and the temperature was in excess of 39°C in 62%. The mean duration of pain before admission was 4.5 days. The initial total white blood cell count ranged from 5,200 to 29,700/μL (mean 19,436/μL) and the total band neutrophil count ranged from 0 to 5,103/μL (mean 1,660/μL). The ESR was greater than 20 mm/h in eight of the ten patients who were tested. Management consisted of antibiotic therapy in all. Needle aspiration was performed in two patients with osteomyelitis and in three with suppurative arthritis. Incision and drainage was performed in two cases of osteomyelitis and in four with suppurative arthritis. The outcome was satisfactory in all except one patient who had several complications as a consequence of femoral neck osteomyelitis. Recurrence was reported in only one patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1090-1096
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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