The purpose of this study was to compare the microbiology and antibiotic resistance profiles of orbital subperiosteal abscesses (SPA) among 3 age cohorts.
A retrospective study was conducted at a tertiary care center through a medical record search to identify patients with orbital cellulitis and SPA on imaging from January 1, 2000 to September 10, 2022. Patients were categorized into pediatric (<9 years old), adolescent (9–18 years old), and adult (>18 years old) cohorts. Primary outcomes included culture and antibiotic susceptibility results. Secondary outcomes included antibiotic therapy and surgical intervention.
Of the 153 SPA patients included, 62 (40.5%) were in the pediatric cohort (4 months–8 years, mean 5.0 ± 2.7), 51 (33.3%) were adolescent (9–18 years, 12.7 ± 2.8), and 40 (26.1%) were adult (19–95, 51.8 ± 19.3). Viridians group Streptococci were the most frequent organisms isolated across groups. The anaerobic infection rate was higher in the adult compared to the pediatric group (23.0% vs, 4.0%, p = 0.017), while that of the adolescent did not differ significantly from either. Pediatric patients carried a lower rate of clindamycin resistance than adolescent and adult cohorts, who shared similar rates (0 vs. 27.0% and 28.0%, respectively; p = 0.016). There were progressive increases in duration of intravenous antibiotic therapy (p < 0.195) and rate of surgical intervention (p < 0.001) going from younger to older cohorts.
Organisms isolated from orbital SPA from the past 2 decades demonstrate a predominance of Streptococcal species. Older age may be associated with anaerobic infection, clindamycin resistance, and more aggressive management. Adolescent infections are more similar to adult rather than pediatric counterparts but may require less aggressive management than the former.