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Revista chilena de infectología

versión impresa ISSN 0716-1018


ARANCIBIA G, M. Francisca et al. Empyema and pleural efussion in children. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2007, vol.24, n.6, pp.454-461. ISSN 0716-1018.

Introduction: Pleural empyema (PE) is a serious complication of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Objectives: To describe the clinical profile of hospitalized patients with PE in the pediatric ward of the Catholic University Hospital between 2000-2005. Patients y methods: Retrospectively, all pediatric admission due to CAP and pleural effusion (86 children) were identified. In 59 (70%) children > 1 thoracocentesis were performed. We considered PE as the presence in the pleural effusion of pus, and/or a positive gram strain and/ or positive culture, and/or a pH < 7.10. Children with effusions not meeting any criteria were used as controls. Results: Twenty four PE and 25 controls were identified, with a global mean age of 2.9 years (range: 8 months to 14.3 years); 78% were < 5 years, with a significant difference between PE and controls [1.6 vs 3.3 years (p = 0.01)]. The mean duration of symptoms in PE patients before admission was 7 days (range: 2-21), and the most frequent symptoms were fever (100%) and cough (96%). In 15/24 cases a microorganism was identified being Streptococcus pneumoniae (n = 9) the most common. In 48 patients management was conservative and in 4 surgical procedures were required. The mean duration of hospitalization was significantly higher in the PE group vs controls group: 15 (range: 5-38) vs 9 days (range 3-16) (p < 0.01). A chest tube was inserted in 83% of children with EP compared with 36% in the control group (p = 0.002). There were no difference in number of days of oxygen use [6 vs 4.5 (p = 0.36)] or number of chest tubes per child [3 vs 2.5 (p = 0.29)]. No deaths were reported. Conclusion: PE in children represented an acute respiratory event associated with more prolonged hospitalization especially at younger ages; the majority of cases did not require surgical intervention

Palabras clave : Pleural effusion; empyema; complicated pneumonia; children.

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