Severity Adjusted Risk of Long-term Adverse Sequelae Among Children With Osteomyelitis

John S. Vorhies, Eduardo A. Lindsay, Naureen G. Tareen, Rodney J. Kellum, Chan Hee Jo, Lawson A Copley

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14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the risk for long-term, adverse outcomes among children with osteomyelitis. METHODS: Children with osteomyelitis were prospectively enrolled from 2012 to 2014. Care was accomplished by a multidisciplinary team according to an institutional algorithm. Data were collected to define the severity of illness during the initial hospitalization and assess short, intermediate and long-term outcomes. Clinical examination, radiographic assessment and functional outcome survey administration were performed at a minimum of 2 year follow-up. A comparison cohort analysis was performed according to initial severity of illness score of mild (0-2), moderate (3-6) and severe (7-10). RESULTS: Of 195 children enrolled, 139 (71.3%) returned for follow-up at an average of 2.4 years (range, 2.0-5.0 years). Children with severe illness were less likely to have normal radiographs (severe, 4.0%; moderate, 38.2%; mild, 53.2%, P < 0.0001), and more likely to have osteonecrosis, chondrolysis, or deformity (severe, 32.0%; moderate, 5.9%; mild, 1.3%, P < 0.0001). Functional outcome measures did not significantly differ between severity categories. By regression analysis severity of illness score, plus age less than 3 years and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus predicted severe sequelae with an area under the curve of 0.8617 and an increasing odds ratio of 1.34 per point of increase in severity score. CONCLUSION: Long-term severe adverse outcomes among children with osteomyelitis occurred in 11 of 139 (7.9%) children and were predicted by initial severity of illness. Other risks that diminished the likelihood of complete resolution or increased the risk of severe sequelae included Methicillin-resistant Staphylcoccus aureus etiology and young age. The majority of children with osteomyelitis do not require long-term follow-up beyond the initial treatment period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalThe Pediatric infectious disease journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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