Archive for September 11, 2015

Pressure ulcer-related pelvic osteomyelitis: A neglected disease?

Open Forum Infect Dis 2015 Sep; 2:ofv112.

Phani Bodavula1,a, Stephen Y. Liang1,2,a, Jiami Wu1, Paige VanTassell1 and Jonas Marschall1,3 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epicenters Program

1Divisions of Infectious Diseases and

2Emergency Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

3Department of Infectious Diseases, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland

Correspondence: Stephen Y. Liang, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, Campus Box 8051, St. Louis, MO 63110 (


Decubitus ulcers can become complicated by pelvic osteomyelitis. Little is known about the epidemiology of pressure ulcer-related pelvic osteomyelitis.


We performed a retrospective cohort study of adult patients with pressure ulcer and pelvic osteomyelitis admitted to an academic center from 2006 to 2011. Data on clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment during the index admission were collected. Outcome measures included length of hospital stay and number of readmissions in the subsequent year.


Two hundred twenty patients were included: 163 (74%) were para/quadriplegic and 148 (67%) were male (148; 67%). Mean age was 50 (±18) years. Pelvic osteomyelitis was the primary admission diagnosis for 117 (53%). Fifty-six (26%) patients had concurrent febrile urinary tract infection. Wound cultures collected for 113 patients (51%) were notable for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (37; 33%), Streptococci (19; 17%), and Pseudomonas spp (20; 18%). Plain films were obtained in 89 (40%) patients, computed tomography scans were obtained for 81 (37%) patients, and magnetic resonance images were obtained for 40 (18%) patients. Most patients received osteomyelitis-directed antibiotics (153; 70%), 134 of 153 (88%) of which were scheduled to receive ≥6 weeks of treatment. Fifty-five (25%) patients underwent surgery during the index admission; 48 (22%) patients received a combined medical-surgical approach. One third of patients had ≥2 readmissions during the subsequent year. Patients treated with a combined approach were less likely to be readmitted than those who received antibiotics alone (0 [range, 0–4] vs 1 [0–7] readmissions; P = .04).


This is one of the largest cohort studies of pressure ulcer-related pelvic osteomyelitis to date. Significant variations existed in diagnostic approach. Most patients received antibiotics; those treated with a combined medical-surgical approach had fewer hospital readmissions.



September 11, 2015 at 8:11 am


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