Predictors of outcome in pediatric osteomyelitis: Five years experience in a single tertiary center

Andrew C Martin, Denise Anderson, Julie Lucey, Robin Guttinger, Peter A Jacoby, Tabitha J. Mok, Timothy J. Whitmore, Colin N. Whitewood, David P. Burgner, Christopher Blyth

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Background: Acute haematogenous osteomyelitis is a bacterial infection of bone, which occurs most frequently in children. Outcomes are excellent for the majority of children, but a minority develop complicated osteomyelitis. Predicting which children will develop complicated osteomyelitis remains a challenge, particularly in developed countries where most patients are discharged home after a relatively short period in hospital. Methods: We conducted a 5-year retrospective case note review of all children aged 3 months to 16 years admitted with a diagnosis of acute haematogenous osteomyelitis. We compared standardized clinical and laboratory parameters in those who developed simple and complicated osteomyelitis. Results: Of the 299 children who met inclusion, 241 (80.6%) had simple and 58 (19.4%) had complicated osteomyelitis. The major predictors of complicated disease were older age, a temperature greater than 38.5°C and a higher C-reactive protein at admission. Conclusions: A risk prediction model, utilizing information available shortly after hospitalization, allows early identification of children at greatest risk of developing complicated osteomyelitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-391
Number of pages5
JournalThe Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Children
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Outcome

Cite this

Martin, A. C., Anderson, D., Lucey, J., Guttinger, R., Jacoby, P. A., Mok, T. J., Whitmore, T. J., Whitewood, C. N., Burgner, D. P., & Blyth, C. (2016). Predictors of outcome in pediatric osteomyelitis: Five years experience in a single tertiary center. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 35(4), 387-391.