Pneumococcal facial cellulitis in children.

L. B. Givner, E. O. Mason, W. J. Barson, T. Q. Tan, E. R. Wald, G. E. Schutze, K. S. Kim, J. S. Bradley, R. Yogev, S. L. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To review the epidemiology and clinical course of facial cellulitis attributable to Streptococcus pneumoniae in children. DESIGN: Cases were reviewed retrospectively at 8 children's hospitals in the United States for the period of September 1993 through December 1998. RESULTS: We identified 52 cases of pneumococcal facial cellulitis (45 periorbital and 7 buccal). Ninety-two percent of patients were <36 months old. Most were previously healthy; among the 6 with underlying disease were the only 2 patients with bilateral facial cellulitis. Fever (temperature: >/=100.5 degrees F) and leukocytosis (white blood cell count: >15 000/mm(3)) were noted at presentation in 78% and 82%, respectively. Two of 15 patients who underwent lumbar puncture had cerebrospinal fluid with mild pleocytosis, which was culture-negative. All patients had blood cultures positive for S pneumoniae. Serotypes 14 and 6B accounted for 53% and 27% of isolates, respectively. Overall, 16% and 4% were nonsusceptible to penicillin and ceftriaxone, respectively. Such isolates did not seem to cause disease that was either more severe or more refractory to therapy than that attributable to penicillin-susceptible isolates. Overall, the patients did well; one third were treated as outpatients. CONCLUSIONS: Pneumococcal facial cellulitis occurs primarily in young children (<36 months of age) who are at risk for pneumococcal bacteremia. They present with fever and leukocytosis. Response to therapy is generally good in those with disease attributable to penicillin-susceptible or -nonsusceptible S pneumoniae. Ninety-six percent of the serotypes causing facial cellulitis in this series are included in the heptavalent-conjugated pneumococcal vaccine recently licensed in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E61
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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