Diagnosis and Management of Infectious Complications of Childhood Rheumatic Diseases
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- Castillo, R.D., De la Pena, W. & Marzan, K.A.B. Curr Rheumatol Rep (2013) 15: 322. doi:10.1007/s11926-013-0322-6
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Progress in the diagnosis and management of pediatric rheumatic disease has improved complications from underlying disease and the survival of children. However, as a consequence, infection has now become one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Differentiating between infections and disease flares in children with rheumatic conditions can often pose diagnostic quandaries. Children with rheumatic diseases are at risk of infection, not only because of the use of immune-modulating medications but also because of underlying immune dysfunction associated with their disease. Although bacterial infections are the most common, any organism can potentially be a causative agent and, at times, more invasive measures of diagnosis, for example bronchoscopy and tissue biopsies may be necessary. Maintaining a high index of suspicion of infection with prompt diagnosis and treatment are important to further improve patient outcomes.