Background Septic arthritis may cause damage and inflammation in short period of time. The germ determination must be the first objective to allow targeted treatment. Bacteriological tests remain negative in 7–35% of cases of septic arthritis.
Objectives Our objective is to determine the impact of epidemioclinical patients profile on germ determination during septic arthritis.
Methods This a retrospective study which included medical records of patients treated for septic arthritis during the seventeen past years. Epidemiologic, clinical, biologic, bacteriologic and therapeutic data were recorded and analysed. We made a comparison between patients who had a germ identified with whom who hadn't.
Results Fifty nine cases of septic arthritis were treated during the study period with mean age about 54.6±19 years [range 15 to 95]. The germ was identified in 27 cases (45.77%). The patients with no identified microorganism had a female predominance (sex-ratio M/F=0.77). When germ was identified, there was no sex predominance (sex ratio =1.07) with no differences between the 2 groups (p=0.385). The two groups had same mean age (54.1 and 54.8 years). The maximum of frequency of the disease was for patients aged between 70 and 79 years when germ identified and between 40 and 59 years if not. The percentage of patients with risk factors of septic arthritis was higher if the germ was not identified but with no significant difference (p=0.893). Anorexia, weight loss and lameness were more frequently seen if germ wasn't identified. It was the same ascertainment with fever and inflammatory signs. There was no significant difference between the two groups as regards the arthritis localization and the number of joints involved.
Conclusions This study showed that female sex was the only epidemio-clinical character associated with low chance to identify the germ during septic arthritis.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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