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1.  Comparison of broad range 16S rDNA PCR and conventional blood culture for diagnosis of sepsis in the newborn: a case control study 
BMC Pediatrics  2009;9:5.
Background
Early onset bacterial sepsis is a feared complication of the newborn. A large proportion of infants admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for suspected sepsis receive treatment with potent systemic antibiotics while a diagnostic workup is in progress. The gold standard for detecting bacterial sepsis is blood culture. However, as pathogens in blood cultures are only detected in approximately 25% of patients, the sensitivity of blood culture is suspected to be low. Therefore, the diagnosis of sepsis is often based on the development of clinical signs, in combination with laboratory tests such as a rise in C – reactive protein (CRP). Molecular assays for the detection of bacterial DNA in the blood represent possible new diagnostic tools for early identification of a bacterial cause.
Methods
A broad range 16S rDNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) without preincubation was compared to conventional diagnostic work up for clinical sepsis, including BACTEC blood culture, for early determination of bacterial sepsis in the newborn. In addition, the relationship between known risk factors, clinical signs, and laboratory parameters considered in clinical sepsis in the newborn were explored.
Results
Forty-eight infants with suspected sepsis were included in this study. Thirty-one patients were diagnosed with sepsis, only 6 of these had a positive blood culture. 16S rDNA PCR analysis of blinded blood samples from the 48 infants revealed 10 samples positive for the presence of bacterial DNA. PCR failed to be positive in 2 samples from blood culture positive infants, and was positive in 1 sample where a diagnosis of a non-septic condition was established. Compared to blood culture the diagnosis of bacterial proven sepsis by PCR revealed a 66.7% sensitivity, 87.5% specificity, 95.4% positive and 75% negative predictive value. PCR combined with blood culture revealed bacteria in 35.1% of the patients diagnosed with sepsis. Irritability and feeding difficulties were the clinical signs most often observed in sepsis. CRP increased in the presence of bacterial infection.
Conclusion
There is a need for PCR as a method to quickly point out the infants with sepsis. However, uncertainty about a bacterial cause of sepsis was not reduced by the PCR result, reflecting that methodological improvements are required in order for DNA detection to replace or supplement traditional blood culture in diagnosis of bacterial sepsis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-5
PMCID: PMC2635358  PMID: 19152691
2.  Childhood osteomyelitis-incidence and differentiation from other acute onset musculoskeletal features in a population-based study 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:45.
Background
Osteomyelitis can be difficult to diagnose and there has previously not been a prospective approach to identify all children in a defined geographic area. The aim of this study was to assess the annual incidence of osteomyelitis in children, describe the patient and disease characteristics in those with acute (< 14 days disease duration) and subacute osteomyelitis (≥ 14 days disease duration), and differentiate osteomyelitis patients from those with other acute onset musculoskeletal features.
Methods
In a population-based Norwegian study physicians were asked to refer all children with suspected osteomyelitis. Children with osteomyelitis received follow-up at six weeks, six months and thereafter as long as clinically needed.
Results
The total annual incidence rate of osteomyelitis was 13 per 100 000 (acute osteomyelitis 8 and subacute osteomyelitis 5 per 100 000). The incidence was higher in patients under the age of 3 than in older children (OR 2.9, 95%: CI 2.3–3.7). The incidence of non-vertebral osteomyelitis was higher than the incidence of vertebral osteomyelitis (10 vs. 3 per 100 000; p = .002). Vertebral osteomyelitis was more frequent in girls than in boys (OR 7.0, 95%: CI 3.3–14.7). ESR ≥ 40 mm/hr had the highest positive predictive laboratory value to identify osteomyelitis patients at 26% and MRI had a positive predictive value of 85%. Long-bone infection was found in 16 (43%) patients. ESR, CRP, white blood cell count, neutrophils and platelet count were higher for patients with acute osteomyelitis than for patients with subacute osteomyelitis. Subacute findings on MRI and doctor's delay were more common in subacute osteomyelitis than in acute osteomyelitis patients. Blood culture was positive in 26% of the acute osteomyelitis patients and was negative in all the subacute osteomyelitis patients.
Conclusion
The annual incidence of osteomyelitis in Norway remains high. ESR values and MRI scan may help to identify osteomyelitis patients and differentiate acute and subacute osteomyelitis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-45
PMCID: PMC2588573  PMID: 18937840
3.  Acute bronchiolitis in infancy as risk factor for wheezing and reduced pulmonary function by seven years in Akershus County, Norway 
BMC Pediatrics  2005;5:31.
Background
Acute viral bronchiolitis is one of the most common causes of hospitalisation during infancy in our region with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) historically being the major causative agent. Many infants with early-life RSV bronchiolitis have sustained bronchial hyperreactivity for many years after hospitalisation and the reasons for this are probably multifactorial. The principal aim of the present study was to investigate if children hospitalised for any acute viral bronchiolitis during infancy in our region, and not only those due to RSV, had more episodes of subsequent wheezing up to age seven years and reduced lung function at that age compared to children not hospitalised for acute bronchiolitis during infancy. A secondary aim was to compare the hospitalised infants with proven RSV bronchiolitis (RS+) to the hospitalised infants with non-RSV bronchiolitis (RS-) according to the same endpoints.
Methods
57 infants hospitalised at least once with acute viral bronchiolitis during two consecutive winter seasons in 1993–1994 were examined at age seven years. An age-matched control group of 64 children, who had not been hospitalised for acute viral bronchiolitis during infancy, were recruited from a local primary school. Epidemiological and clinical data were collected retrospectively from hospital discharge records and through structured clinical interviews and physical examinations at the follow-up visit.
Results
The children hospitalised for bronchiolitis during infancy had decreased lung function, more often wheezing episodes, current medication and follow-up for asthma at age seven years than did the age matched controls. They also had lower average birth weight and more often first order family members with asthma. We did not find significant differences between the RSV+ and RSV- groups.
Conclusion
Children hospitalised for early-life bronchiolitis are susceptible to recurrent wheezing and reduced pulmonary function by seven years compared to age-matched children not hospitalised for early-life bronchiolitis. We propose that prolonged bronchial hyperreactivity could follow early-life RSV negative as well as RSV positive bronchiolitis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-5-31
PMCID: PMC1199604  PMID: 16109158
4.  Abnormal systemic venous connection possibly associated with a persistent right umbilical vein; a case report 
BMC Pediatrics  2004;4:7.
Background
Abnormal venous connections involving a persistent right umbilical vein are rare. In a minority of cases the liver is entirely bypassed and the condition is associated with multiple congenital malformations.
Case presentation
The described case illustrates a systemic venous drainage that was severely abnormal in a newborn girl with a truncus arteriosus type II congenital heart defect. Injection of contrast medium through the umbilical vein catheter revealed a very peculiar venous connection that passed anterio-laterally through the right hemithorax before crossing in an oblique fashion towards the superior vena cava.
Conclusions
This venous drainage may be the result of a persistent right umbilical vein connecting with the superior vena cava.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-4-7
PMCID: PMC416482  PMID: 15117414

Results 1-4 (4)