The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2004 , Vol 46 , Num 2
Acute neck infections in children

Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey


Cengiz AB, Kara A, Kanra G, Seçmeer G, Ceyhan M, Özen M. Acute neck infections in children. Turk J Pediatr 2004; 46: 153-158.

A retrospective review was conducted on 132 patients aged between two and 15 years with cervical lymphadenitis and/or with abscess formation to determine the epidemiologic and clinical presentation of these infections. The most common locations were the upper anterior cervical space (43.2%) and the submandibular space (27.3%). The duration of symptoms ranged from 12 hours to 20 days. Results of the pus cultures were available in 31 patients (23.5%). Of these, 16 cultures (51.6%) were positive. The isolated organisms were Staphylococcus aureus (50%), Staphylococcus epidermidis (31.3%), group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (12.5%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (6.3%) and Escherichia coli (6.3%). One of the specimens yielded mixed organisms (Staphylococcus epidermidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae). Penicillin resistance was documented in six (37.5%) of the 16 Gram-positive bacteria isolated from the pus culture. Both throat and blood cultures were available in all 132 patients. Seven throat cultures (5.3%) were positive for group A beta hemolytic streptococci, whereas five blood cultures (3.8%) were reported to have bacterial growth. Sixty-seven patients (50.8%) were treated with ampicillin-sulbactam, 53 patients (40.1%) with ampicillin-sulbactam and ornidazole and 12 patients (9.1%) with ceftriaxone parenterally. The mean duration of hospital stay related to the infection was 7.30±3.89 days (range, 2-28 days). The mean period for downsizing of the cervical mass by half was 4.05±2.05 days, and the recovery period (total antibiotic usage period) was 13.72±5.33 days. All of the patients had an uneventful recovery without complications. Results of both throat and blood cultures were not predictive for etiologic agents in our study group. Since ultrasonographic evaluation of each patient has limited additional benefits in clinical management, it must be reserved for selected cases to document abscess formation.

Keywords : neck infection children ampicillin-sulbactam
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