Necrotizing pneumonia

Masters IB, et al. Necrotizing pneumonia: an emerging problem in children? Pneumonia (Nathan). 2017 Jul 25;9:11.

“NP is an uncommon but increasingly recognized severe complication of pneumonia in previously healthy young children. The major pathogens are S. pneumoniae and S. aureus and the diagnosis should be considered when, despite appropriate antibiotics, the child remains febrile and unwell with persistent signs of respiratory distress and pneumonia. Most will have a PPE, empyema and/or BPF that has not improved despite chest drainage or surgical intervention. The diagnosis is confirmed by chest imaging, usually by a CT scan or sonography, while treatment requires prolonged IV antibiotics, which can be changed to oral medication for an additional 10–14 days, once the child is afebrile and clinically stable. Ideally, surgical intervention is kept to a minimum, but this is not always possible if there are mass effects from gas and fluid in the pleural cavity or pulmonary gangrene leading to massive hemoptysis, uncontrolled sepsis, or difficulties with assisted ventilation. Nevertheless, despite its severity, mortality in children is uncommon; the children improve clinically within a couple of months, radiographic changes are largely resolved after 5–6 months, and only a minority are left with mildly impaired lung function. Important targets for future research include identifying host–pathogen interactions leading to disease, improving the microbiologic diagnostic gap, optimizing medical and surgical management, and ultimately preventing this severe complication of pediatric pneumonia.”

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Adverse effects of synthetic cannabinoids

Baum RA, et al. Suspected synthetic cannabinomimetic intoxication. J Pharm Pract. 2017 Jan 1:897190017699761.

Recent legislation has failed to curb the public health concerns emanating from SC misuse. Education about the risks of SC use along with additional regulation may be required to remove the false sense of safety that some individuals, especially adolescents and young adults, may associate with these compounds, which are often misconstrued as “herbal marijuana.” Clinicians need to be prepared to identify and treat symptoms of SC intoxication as incidents of toxicity continue to rise.

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Castellanos D, Gralnik LM. Synthetic cannabinoids 2015: An update for pediatricians in clinical practice. World J Clin Pediatr. 2016 Feb 8;5(1):16-24.

Synthetic cannabinoids are a group of substances that are typically much more potent than natural cannabis. These substances have been increasingly abused by youth over the past few years. A number of published reports have emerged documenting the serious health consequences associated with use of these products. Seizures, myocardial infarction and renal damage are some of the significant physical consequences associated with their use. With current limitations of toxicological analyses pediatricians are urged to familiarize themselves with these drugs and the typical presentations of patients who use them.

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Antibiotic treatment for Shigella infections

Klontz KC, Singh N. Treatment of drug-resistant Shigella infections. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2015 Jan;13(1):69-80.

Since the introduction of sulfonamides in the late 1930s, selective pressure and the widespread dissemination of mobile genetic elements conferring antimicrobial resistance have forced clinicians to seek successive agents for the treatment of multidrug-resistant shigellosis. Over the decades, the principal antibiotics used to treat Shigella infections have included tetracycline, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and nalidixic acid. Presently, ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, and ceftriaxone serve as the mainstays of treatment, although growing evidence has documented decreased susceptibility or full resistance to these agents in some regions. With diminishing pharmaceutical options available, there is an enhanced need for preventive measures in the form of improved sanitation and hygiene standards, strict use of currently effective agents, and a safe and effective licensed vaccine.

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Holmes LC. Shigella. Pediatr Rev. 2014 Jun;35(6):261-2.

“The choice of which antibiotic to administer is another treatment question. A 2010 Cochrane review of 16 randomized controlled trials evaluating antibiotics for shigella dysentery found all classes of antibiotics had similar efficacy, and the authors were not able to identify a superior class of antibiotics. In the United States, the 2010 National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System found 41% of Shigella species resistant to ampicillin, 48% resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 2% resistant to ciprofloxacin, and less than 1% resistant to ceftriaxone. Antibiotic resistance in outbreaks has been reported to be much higher. Arvelo et al found 90% of the Shigella strains involved in a large daycare center–associated outbreak resistant to both ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Knowing regional resistance patterns and the susceptibility pattern of the pathogen once available is essential to guide therapy.”

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Christopher PR, et al. Antibiotic therapy for Shigella dysentery. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Aug 4;(8):CD006784.

Antibiotics reduce the duration of Shigella dysentery.Regularly updated local or regional antibiotic sensitivity patterns to different species and strains of Shigella are required to guide empiric therapy. More trials adhering to standard guidelines are required to evaluate the role of antibiotics in the treatment of severe forms of Shigella dysentery and in groups who are at high risk of complications.

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Antibiotic prophylaxis of pertussis

Altunaiji S, et al. Antibiotics for whooping cough (pertussis). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jul 18;(3):CD004404. (Edited (no change to conclusions), comment added to review in Issue 3, 2013.)

“This systematic review of RCTs examining the treatment of whooping cough has found that antibiotic treatment is effective in eliminating B. pertussis from the nasopharynx and thus rendering participants non-infectious, but does not alter the clinical course of the illness. Prophylaxis with antibiotic was significantly associated with side effects; it did not significantly improve clinical symptoms, prevent the development of culture-positive B. pertussis, nor paroxysmal cough for more than two weeks, in contacts older than six months of age.”

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Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome

Mishra AK, et al. A Systemic Review on Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS): A Rare and Critical Disease of Neonates. Open Microbiol J. 2016 Aug 31;10:150-9.

The symptoms of Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) include blistering of skin on superficial layers due to the exfoliative toxins released from Staphylococcus aureus. After the acute exfoliation of skin surface, erythematous cellulitis occurs. The SSSS may be confined to few blisters localized to the infection site and spread to severe exfoliation affecting complete body. The specific antibodies to exotoxins and increased clearance of exotoxins decrease the frequency of SSSS in adults. Immediate medication with parenteral anti-staphylococcal antibiotics is mandatory. Mostly, SSSS are resistant to penicillin. Penicillinase resistant synthetic penicillins such as Nafcillin or Oxacillin are prescribed as emergency treatment medicine. If Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is suspected), antibiotics with MRSA coverage (e.g., Vancomycin or Linezolid) are indicated. Clindamycin is considered as drug of choice to stop the production of exotoxin from bacteria ribosome. The use of Ringer solution to to balance the fluid loss, followed by maintenance therapy with an objective to maintain the fluid loss from exfoliation of skin, application of Cotrimoxazole on topical surface are greatly considered to treat the SSSS. The drugs that reduce renal function are avoided. Through this article, an attempt has been made to focus the source, etiology, mechanism, outbreaks, mechanism, clinical manifestation, treatment and other detail of SSSS.

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Braunstein I, et  al. Antibiotic sensitivity and resistance patterns in pediatric staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. Pediatr Dermatol. 2014 May-Jun;31(3):305-8.

Historical resistance patterns often guide empiric antibiotic choices in staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS), but little is known about the difference in susceptibility between SSSS and other childhood staphylococcal infections. A retrospective chart review of culture-confirmed cases of SSSS seen in the inpatient dermatology consultation service at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia between 2005 and 2011 was performed. Most cases of SSSS at our institution are due to oxacillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, and approximately half of the cases are due to clindamycin-resistant strains. Clindamycin and a penicillinase-resistant penicillin are suggested as empiric treatment for SSSS until culture susceptibility data are available to guide therapy.

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Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia

Itoh S, et al. Phototherapy for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Pediatr Int. 2017 May 31.

About 60 years ago in England, phototherapy for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia was actually used in clinical practice. It was introduced in Japan about 50 years ago. However, the mechanism of how the serum bilirubin concentration was decreased by the phototherapy was still unknown. The mechanism was identified by chemists, biochemists, and pediatricians. Clarification started with the report that unconjugated bilirubin was excreted into bile after the photoirradiation of Gunn rats. After the molecular conformation of bilirubin by X-ray analysis, the mechanism for bile excretion of unconjugated bilirubin was verified based on geometric configurational photoisomers in the Gunn rat. Finally, the reaction and excretion of structural bilirubin photoisomers was proved to be the main mechanism for the decrease in serum bilirubin during phototherapy for neonatal hyperbilirubinemina, which differs from the mechanism in the Gunn rat. However, the most effective and safest light source and the optimal method to evaluate phototherapy remain unknown. Moreover, as for bronze baby syndrome which is a well-known adverse reaction to phototherapy, the substances as the etiological origin are unclear. Hence, we review phototherapy for hyperbilirubinemia including a fundamental understanding of the bilirubin photochemical reactions, and discuss the subclinical carcinogenic risk of phototherapy and the increased mortality rate of extremely very low birth weight infants due to aggressive phototherapy, which is becoming a problem an increasing.

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Maisels MJ. Managing the jaundiced newborn: a persistent challenge. CMAJ. 2015
Mar 17;187(5):335-43.

“In this review, I present an approach to managing the jaundiced newborn that is based on published guidelines. [2-5] The aim is to help clinicians identify and manage jaundice in the newborn, intervene when appropriate and, when possible, prevent bilirubin-induced brain damage. It would be ideal if the published guidelines for the management of hyperbilirubinemia, including treatment with phototherapy and exchange transfusion, were based on estimates of when the benefit of these interventions exceeded their risks and costs. These estimates should come from randomized trials or high-quality, systematic observational studies, but such studies are rare. Guidelines must therefore rely on relatively uncertain estimates of risk and benefits, often from conflicting results.”

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Adverse events associated with antipsychotic medications

See also: Lithium toxicity.


Garcia G, Logan GE, Gonzalez-Heydrich J. Management of psychotropic medication side effects in children and adolescents. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2012
Oct;21(4):713-38.

“An evidence-based review of the published literature on the side effects of psychotropic medications on children and adolescents is provided. Due to the large scope of side effects, some of the most commonly presenting side effects are focused on and the rare but serious effects where controversy still exists around monitoring and management (eg, suicidality and metabolic syndrome) are highlighted. Emphasis is placed on the presentation of side effects, prevalence, treatment, and management of the adverse effects associated with psychotropic medication.”

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Complementary therapies of irritable bowel syndrome (focus on hypnotherapy)

Leiby A, Vazirani M. Complementary, integrative, and holistic medicine: integrative approaches to pediatric irritable bowel syndrome. Pediatr Rev. 2016 Apr;37(4):e10-5.

“Once a diagnosis of IBS is established, a suggested approach is to help the family understand that coping strategies are important for symptom management because psychological and environmental factors play a role in the disease. Validation and reassurance may be sufficient treatment for many children and families, but psychological, pharmacologic, or dietary treatment may also be needed for some. Strong evidence supports the efficacy of CBT, and emerging data suggest that clinical HT and yoga also may be beneficial. Probiotics and certain herbs may be useful adjuncts to biobehavioral therapy. Above all, acknowledging that the patient’s symptoms are genuine is most important for strengthening the patient-parent-physician bond, assuring the patient of the physician’s belief in the patient’s pathology, and initiating discussions about the “brain – gut” connection.”

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Pericarditis

Bergmann KR, et al. Myocarditis and pericarditis in the pediatric patient: validated management strategies. Pediatr Emerg Med Pract. 2015 Jul;12(7):1-22; quiz 23.

Myocarditis and pericarditis are inflammatory conditions of the heart commonly caused by viral and autoimmune etiologies, although many cases are idiopathic. Emergency clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion for these conditions, given the rarity and often nonspecific presentation in the pediatric population. Children with myocarditis may present with a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to overt heart failure and shock, whereas children with pericarditis typically present with chest pain and fever. The cornerstone of therapy for myocarditis includes aggressive supportive management of heart failure, as well as administration of inotropes and antidysrhythmic medications, as indicated. Children often require admission to an intensive care setting. The acute management of pericarditis includes recognition of tamponade and, if identified, the performance of pericardiocentesis. Medical therapies may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and colchicine, with steroids reserved for specific populations. This review focuses on the evaluation and treatment of children with myocarditis and/or pericarditis, with an emphasis on currently available medical evidence.

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Lithium toxicity

Baird-Gunning J, et al. Lithium poisoning. J Intensive Care Med. 2017 May;32(4):249-263.

Lithium is a commonly prescribed treatment for bipolar affective disorder. However, treatment is complicated by lithium’s narrow therapeutic index and the influence of kidney function, both of which increase the risk of toxicity. Therefore, careful attention to dosing, monitoring, and titration is required. The cause of lithium poisoning influences treatment and 3 patterns are described: acute, acute-on-chronic, and chronic. Chronic poisoning is the most common etiology, is usually unintentional, and results from lithium intake exceeding elimination. This is most commonly due to impaired kidney function caused by volume depletion from lithium-induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus or intercurrent illnesses and is also drug-induced. Lithium poisoning can affect multiple organs; however, the primary site of toxicity is the central nervous system and clinical manifestations vary from asymptomatic supratherapeutic drug concentrations to clinical toxicity such as confusion, ataxia, or seizures. Lithium poisoning has a low mortality rate; however, chronic lithium poisoning can require a prolonged hospital length of stay from impaired mobility and cognition and associated nosocomial complications. Persistent neurological deficits, in particular cerebellar, are described and the incidence and risk factors for its development are poorly understood, but it appears to be uncommon in uncomplicated acute poisoning. Lithium is readily dialyzable, and rationale support extracorporeal treatments to reduce the risk or the duration of toxicity in high-risk exposures. There is disagreement in the literature regarding factors that define patients most likely to benefit from treatments that enhance lithium elimination, including specific plasma lithium concentration thresholds. In the case of extracorporeal treatments, there are observational data in its favor, without evidence from randomized controlled trials (none have been performed), which may lead to conservative practices and potentially unnecessary interventions in some circumstances. More data are required to define the risk-benefit of extracorporeal treatments and their use (modality, duration) in the management of lithium poisoning.

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