Complications of Bacteriologically Confirmed Typhoid Fever in Children


Alam Sher Malik


To find the incidence, markers and nature of complications of typhoid fever, we studied 102 children with cultures positive for Salmonella typhi in a cross‐sectional study, prospectively, over a period of almost 5 years. All isolates were sensitive to commonly used antibiotics. One third of these children developed complications which included: anicteric hepatitis, bone marrow suppression, paralytic ileus, myocarditis, psychosis, cholecystitis, osteomyelitis, peritonitis, pneumonia, haemolysis, and syndrome of inappropriate release of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH). Twelve children developed multiple complications. If hepatitis is excluded from the complications, the rate of complications in bacteriologically confirmed cases of typhoid fever drops to 11 per cent. These complications were not related to: the age or sex of patients, duration of illness before admission, use of antibiotics before admission, nutritional status, level of ‘O’ or ‘H’ titre, presence of IgM or IgG antibodies, or treatment with chloramphenicol or ampicillin. Children with splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia or leukopenia were more likely to develop complications.


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