Background Septic arthritis (SA) is an infection of synovial tissue that can affect one or more joints in patients of any age. It is considered as a medical and therapeutic emergency. Diagnosis is based on the presence of a microorganism in joint aspiration or in withdrawal of a possible gateway or a secondary location.
Objectives To describe the bacteriologic profile of SA among adult subjects in a rheumatologic department.
Methods This is a descriptive retrospective study including records of cases of SA collected in a rheumatology department, over a period of 17 years [1998–2014]. The epidemio-clinical features and evolution were noted. Bacteriologic exams were collected and analyzed.
Results Fifty nine records of 59 patients with SA were selected. The mean age was 54.6 ± 19 years [range 15 to 95]. There were 28 men and 31 women with a sex ratio M/F =0.9. Fifty 50 cases (84.7%) had a single joint involvement, 6 cases (10.2%) had oligoarticular arthritis and 3 cases had polyarticular arthritis (5.1%). The joint aspiration was performed in 53 patients (89.8%). The appearance of the liquid was clear in 6 cases (11.5%), hematic in 5 cases (9.6%), purulent in 18 cases (34, 6%) and trouble in 23 cases (44.2%). White blood cells varied between 4000 and 100,000/mm3 with an average of 27.520 elements. Direct bacteriologic exam was positive in 16 cases (30.8%). Twenty seven subjects (46%) had a positive culture. The study of the synovial fluid identified staphylococcus as the most frequently isolated microorganism (5 cases), followed by Streptococcus (3 cases), Koch bacillus (2 cases) and E.Coli (2 cases). One patient had septic arthritis due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Conclusions The bacteriologic profile is this series is not different than known in literature but showed that less than a half of patients had an identified microorganism as defined the SA.
Disclosure of Interest None declared