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[Bacterial complications of nephrotic syndrome in children].

La Presse Médicale 1995 January 8
OBJECTIVES: Evaluate bacterial infection epidemiology and pathophysiology in children with nephrotic syndrome.

METHODS: From January 1983 to December 1992, 399 children with the nephrotic syndrome were admitted in 3 University Pediatric wards (Paris Enfants Malades, Lyon Edouard Herriot, Lyon Debrousse). Severe bacterial infection was diagnosed when the patient's condition has justified an intravenous antibiotherapy.

RESULTS: Forty-eight bacterial infections were noted in 32 patients (8%); the infection was the first symptom of the disease in 10 patients (31%); one patient died shortly after admission. Severe bacterial infection concerned steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome in 13 cases (41%), but only 7 out of them received immunosuppressive agents at the time of the infection. Eleven children (34%) experienced recurrent infections (1 to 6 recurrences), several of which under antibioprophylaxy. Half of the infections involved peritonitis and 50% of the identified germs were S. pneumoniae. However, peritonitis was not always related to S. pneumoniae (1 H. influenzae among 9 identified germs).

CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate the importance of microbiological sampling and justify a first-line antibiotherapy using a third generation cephalosporin. The presentation of severe bacterial infections show that it is less a iatrogenic event than a consequence of immunological disturbances induced by the nephrotic syndrome itself, as suggested by the acquired deficiency of factor I and B. Despite recent advances in antibiotic strategies responsible for a significant reduction in the severity of such infections (1 death among 32 patients), preventive treatments are quite disappointing.

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