[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) is a tick-borne illness caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis. Data about disease in children have been largely derived from case reports or small case series.
A retrospective review of all medical and laboratory records from 6 sites located in the "tick belt" of the Southeastern United States was carried out. Demographic, history and laboratory data were abstracted from the identified medical records of patients. Bivariate statistical comparisons were performed using Fisher exact test or Wilcoxon rank sum tests.
Common clinical signs and symptoms of patients with HME (n = 32) included fever (100%), headache (69%), myalgia (69%), rash (66%), nausea/vomiting (56%), altered mental status (50%) and lymphadenopathy (47%). Only 48% had a complaint of fever, headache and rash. Common laboratory abnormalities included thrombocytopenia (94%), elevated aspartate aminotransferase (90%), elevated alanine aminotransferase (74%), hypoalbuminemia (65%), lymphopenia (57%), leukopenia (56%) and hyponatremia (55%). The median number of days of illness before the initiation of antirickettsial therapy was 6. Patients who received sulfonamides before starting doxycycline therapy developed a rash, were admitted to the hospital, and started doxycycline at a later date. Twenty-two percent of patients were admitted to the intensive care unit with 12.5% of patients requiring ventilatory and blood pressure support.
Although HME has been recognized among children for almost 20 years, there is only a limited knowledge about its clinical course. Even among physicians practicing in endemic regions, few cases are diagnosed each year. More work is needed to understand the true burden of disease and the natural history among asymptomatically and symptomatically infected children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe the clinical characteristics and course of children with laboratory-diagnosed Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) and to identify clinical findings independently associated with adverse outcomes of death or discharge with neurologic deficits.
Retrospective chart review of 92 patients at six institutions in the southeastern and southcentral United States from 1990 to 2002. Statistical analyses used descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression.
Children with RMSF presented to study institutions after a median of 6 days of symptoms, which most commonly included fever (98%), rash (97%), nausea and/or vomiting (73%), and headache (61%); no other symptom or sign was present in >50% of children. Only 49% reported antecedent tick bites. Platelet counts were <150,000/mm3 in 59% of children, and serum sodium concentrations were <135 mEq/dL in 52%. Although 86% sought medical care before admission, only 4 patients received anti-rickettsial therapy during this time. Three patients died, and 13 survivors had neurologic deficits at discharge. Coma and need for inotropic support and intravenous fluid boluses were independently associated with adverse outcomes.
Children with RMSF generally present with fever and rash. Delays in diagnosis and initiation of appropriate therapy are unacceptably common. Prognosis is guarded in those with hemodynamic instability or neurologic compromise at initiation of therapy.
The Journal of pediatrics 03/2007; 150(2):180-4, 184.e1. · 4.02 Impact Factor