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Pediatric parotitis: a 5-year review at a tertiary care pediatric institution.

BACKGROUND: Parotitis is a well recognized entity in the adult population, however there are very few studies concerning the clinical presentation and management of this condition in children.

OBJECTIVES: To characterize pediatric parotitis in a tertiary care setting, with the goal of clarifying management recommendations and outcomes.

METHODS: The charts of all pediatric patients with a diagnosis of parotitis treated at a tertiary care academic institution from 1999 to 2004 were reviewed. The management of inpatients and outpatients were characterized to define differences in presentation and care.

RESULTS: Twenty-one children (6 months-15 years) with a diagnosis of parotitis were identified. Thirteen (62%) children were treated as inpatients, of which seven (54%), had significant medical co-morbidities. The most common clinical presentations of the inpatient group included dehydration (46%), fever (38%) and leukocytosis (46%). Two inpatients (15%) required surgical drainage due to abscess formation. Eight children (38%) were treated as outpatients, none with associated co-morbidity, fever, leukocytosis, or complication due to infection. All outpatients were treated with oral antibiotics or conservative therapy with eventual resolution.

CONCLUSIONS: Parotitis in the pediatric population is uncommon. The presence of a significant co-morbidity, fever, or leukocytosis may require inpatient therapy and imaging if patients fail to improve with medical therapy. Other than abscess drainage, surgery for parotitis in children is not routinely recommended.

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