Korean J Pediatr.  2017 Apr;60(4):124-127. 10.3345/kjp.2017.60.4.124.

Effects of clarithromycin treatment in scrub typhus in children: comparison with chloramphenicol and azithromycin

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Chonbuk National University Children's Hospital, Jeonju, Korea. drjo@chonbuk.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
Chloramphenicol and tetracycline are not recommended for treating scrub typhus in pediatric patients because of potential side effects, such as aplastic anemia or tooth discoloration. While clarithromycin has recently been used in adults, few reports have been published on its effects in pediatric patients. We report the clinical profiles of pediatric scrub typhus and the effects of clarithromycin on scrub typhus in children.
METHODS
We retrospectively analyzed medical records of 56 children with scrub typhus who were admitted between 2004 and 2013 to Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju, Korea. Cases were divided into 3 groups based on thetreatment drug (chloramphenicol, azithromycin, and clarithromycin). We compared their clinical manifestations and laboratory findings.
RESULTS
All patients exhibited fever and rash. Other common clinical manifestations were eschars (66%), lymphadenopathy (48%), upper respiratory symptoms (42%), abdominal pain (32%), and hepatosplenomegaly (14%). Elevated levels of C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rates, aspartate transaminase, and alanine transaminase were detected in 95%, 96%, 84%, and 77% of patients, respectively. Additionally, decreased platelet and white blood cell levels were observed in 43% and 36% of patients, respectively. There were no statistical differences between the treatment groups in mean age (P=0.114) or sex (P=0.507). However, time to defervescence after the treatments differed significantly, being the shortest in the clarithromycin group (P=0.019). All patients recovered without complications related to the disease or drugs.
CONCLUSION
Clarithromycin was as effective as chloramphenicol and azithromycin in pediatric scrub typhus patients and may be used as a first-line treatment drug.

Keyword

Scrub typhus; Clarithromycin; Azithromycin; Chloramphenicol; Pediatric patients

MeSH Terms

Abdominal Pain
Adult
Alanine Transaminase
Anemia, Aplastic
Aspartate Aminotransferases
Azithromycin*
Blood Platelets
Blood Sedimentation
C-Reactive Protein
Child*
Chloramphenicol*
Clarithromycin*
Exanthema
Fever
Humans
Jeollabuk-do
Korea
Leukocytes
Lymphatic Diseases
Medical Records
Retrospective Studies
Scrub Typhus*
Tetracycline
Tooth Discoloration
Alanine Transaminase
Aspartate Aminotransferases
Azithromycin
C-Reactive Protein
Chloramphenicol
Clarithromycin
Tetracycline
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