The excellent oral bioavailability and the Gram-positive antimicrobial spectrum make linezolid an attractive antibiotic for treatment of osteoarticular infections. The clinical efficacy of this drug has not been previously evaluated for Gram-positive osteoarticular infections in children.
Between July 2003 and June 2006, 13 children who received a linezolid-containing regimen for osteoarticular infections were identified from a hospital pharmacy database. The medical records were reviewed and outcomes with regard to clinical efficacy and safety were analyzed.
Eight (61.5%) children were male. Ages ranged from 3 months to 14 years. Nine previously healthy children had acute hematogenous osteoarticular infections involving the pelvis (n = 1) or lower limbs (n = 8). The remaining 4 children had postoperative infections of sternal wounds (n = 2) and fractured lower limbs (n = 2). Causative pathogens included methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in 11 children, methicillin-susceptible S. aureus in one, and Enterococcus faecium and coagulase-negative staphylococci in one. Surgical debridement was attempted in 9 children and effective antistaphylococcal antibiotics were used in all 13 patients for a median duration of 23 days (range, 5–41 days) before the use of linezolid. Linezolid was administered orally to 10 children as step-down therapy and by the parenteral followed by oral route to 3 children who were intolerant of glycopeptide for a median duration of 20 days (range, 9–36 days). Eleven of the 13 children were cured after management. Two children developed anemia during linezolid therapy. There was no premature cessation of linezolid because of severe adverse effects.
Linezolid appears to be useful and well tolerated in step-down therapy or compassionate use for pediatric Gram-positive orthopedic infections. A well-designed prospective comparative study is needed to confirm this observation.
From the *Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics and †Department of Orthopedics, Chang Gung Children's Hospital, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital; ‡Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University; and §College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
Accepted for publication May 30, 2007.
Address for correspondence: Dr. Yhu-Chering Huang, MD, PhD, Division of Pediatric Infectious diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Children's Hospital, 5, Fu-Shin Street, Kweishan 333, Taoyuan, Taiwan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.