, Volume 40, Issue 11, pp 1768-1773
Date: 14 May 2010

Radiological findings of community-acquired methicillin-resistant and methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus pediatric pneumonia in Hawaii

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Community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus (CA-SA) infections are common among pediatric patients in Hawaii.


We wanted to characterize the radiological features of methicillin-susceptible (CA-MSSA) and methicillin-resistant (CA-MRSA) staphylococcal pneumonia in Hawaiian children.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively reviewed medical records and imaging studies of children with SA pneumonia identified from 1996 through 2007.


Of 40 children, 26 (65%) had CA-MRSA pneumonia and 14 patients (35%) had CA-MSSA pneumonia. CA-MRSA patients were significantly younger than CA-MSSA patients (65% younger than 1 year vs. 36% older). In a majority (62%) of CA-MRSA patients, the consolidation was unilateral; in most of the CA-MSSA cases (79%), the consolidation was bilateral. Fifty percent of the patients with CA-MRSA and 21% of those with CA-MSSA had pneumatoceles (P = 0.1). CA-MRSA patients more commonly had pleural effusions (85% vs. 64% for CA-MSSA) and pleural thickening (50% vs. 36% for CA-MSSA).


This case series describes the radiologic characteristics of CA-MRSA and CA-MSSA pneumonia in children in a highly endemic area. We found that CA-MRSA pneumonias are unilateral in a majority of pediatric pneumonia cases, are more common in children 1 year or younger, and have higher rates of complications in comparison to CA-MSSA patients.