Although necrotizing pneumonia (NN) is one of the most feared complications of community-acquired pneumonia, data in pediatric patients are scarce. The objective of this article is to describe children admitted to pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) because of NN.
Retrospective-prospective observational study in children admitted with NN to PICU (from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2018). The data collected included information on disease epidemiology, PICU management, respiratory assistance and disease evolution.
Fifty-one children were included, 42 of 51 had received 7-valent or 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine. Median age was 3.2 years (1.9–4.2), 15 of 51 had signs of sepsis at admission. Forty-nine patients presented pleural effusion with drainage in 46. The most common respiratory support modality was high-flow oxygen nasal cannula (17/51). Computed tomography was the gold standard for diagnosis. Etiologic diagnosis was obtained in 34 of 51, and pneumococcus was isolated in 29 of 34. In all of these cases, initial detection was made by capsular antigen in pleural fluid. Children with pneumococcal NN had fewer days of evolution prior to PICU admission (P = 0.041). Cefotaxime with clindamycin was used in 49 of 51. Surgery was necessary in 3 of 51 patients. After PICU discharge, only 5 of 51 were readmitted. There were deaths.
In our study, the NN was mainly observed in children around 3 years old. The main causal agent was pneumococcus. The evolution towards NN appeared to be faster than in case of other etiologies. Surgery management was unusual. All children required prolonged admissions but had a full clinical recovery.