Dacryocystitis is considered benign, yet infants represent a population at risk of complications. The presentation, management, and rates of serious bacterial infection in infants with dacryocystitis have not been described.
We conducted a retrospective study of infants (12 months or younger) presenting to a single urban tertiary care pediatric emergency department between January 1995 and March 2014 with concern for dacryocystitis. Exclusion criteria included immune compromise or craniofacial anomalies. Cases were identified using text search software, followed by manual chart review.
We identified 333 subjects, and median age was 38 days (interquartile range, 12; 106). Fifty-three percent were female. Most were afebrile (81%, T < 38°C) at triage while 6% had fever of ≥39°C. Two of 135 blood cultures sent were positive (both Streptococcus pneumoniae). Lumbar punctures were performed on 40 patients (12%), and no cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cultures were positive. Eye cultures were positive in 47% (N = 58) of infants cultured (N = 123); the most common pathogens were Haemophilus species (N = 17), Staphylococcus aureus (N = 13), Gram-negative rods (N = 7), and Moraxella species (N = 4). Imaging was obtained in 11 subjects (3.3%) with 3 demonstrating cellulitis and 1 a hemangioma. Ophthalmology was consulted for 21%, and an intervention/probe performed in 6%. Topical antibiotics were used in 147 subjects (44%), oral antibiotics in 100 (33%), and parenteral antibiotics in 87 (26%).
Infants with dacryocystitis have a variable presentation and management ranges from observation to aggressive management. The rates of serious bacterial infection were low in this sample and not associated with any presenting risk factors.