A comparison of the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment of acute osteomyelitis in hospitalized children in Latvia and Norway

Elise Evja Thingsaker, Urzula Nora Urbane (Coresponding Author), Jana Pavare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Background and objectives: Paediatric acute osteomyelitis (AO) may result in major lifethreatening and limb-threatening complications if not recognized and treated early. The management of AO may depend on local microbial prevalence and virulence factors. This study compares the approach to paediatric AO in hospitals in two countries-Latvia and Norway. Materials and Methods: The study includes patients with AO hospitalized in the paediatric department in the Norwegian hospital Sørlandet Sykehus Kristiansand (SSK), in the period between the 1st of January 2012 and the 31st of December 2019. The results from SSK are compared to the results of a published study of AO in patients hospitalized at the Children’s Clinical University Hospital (CCUH) in Riga, Latvia. Results: The most isolated pathogen from cultures in both hospitals was S. aureus (methicillinsensitive). The lower extremity was the most affected body part (75% in CCUH, 95% in SSK), the main clinical symptom was pain (CCUH 92%, SSK 96.6%). Deep culture aspiration was most often taken intraoperatively in CCUH (76.6%) and percutaneously in SSK (44.8%). Oxacillin was the most applied antibiotic in CCUH (89.4%), and Cloxacillin in SSK (84.6%). Combined treatment with anti-Staphylococcal penicillins and Clindamycin was administered in 25.5% and 33.8% of CCUH and SSK patients, respectively. The median duration of the intravenous antibacterial treatment in CCUH and SSK was 15 and 10 days, respectively, and a switch to oral therapy was mainly made at discharge in both hospitals. The median total duration of antibiotic treatment was 25 days in CCUH and 35 days in SSK. 75% of CCUH and 10.3% of SSK patients were treated surgically. Complications were seen in 47% of patients in CCUH and in 38% in SSK. Conclusions: The transition to oral antibacterial treatment in both hospitals was delayed, which suggests a lack of criteria for discontinuation of intravenous therapy and could potentially contribute to longer hospitalization, higher cost of treatment and risk of complications. The use of more invasive techniques for deep culturing and significantly more common surgical interventions could possibly be linked to a higher complication rate in AO patients treated at the Latvian hospital.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2021


  • Acute osteomyelitis
  • Antibacterial therapy
  • Children
  • Staphylococcus aureus

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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