Risk stratification of febrile infants ≤60 days old without routine lumbar puncture

Paul L. Aronson, Marie E. Wang, Eugene D. Shapiro, Samir S. Shah, Adrienne G. DePorre, Russell J. McCulloh, Christopher M. Pruitt, Sanyukta Desai, Lise E. Nigrovic, Richard D. Marble, Rianna C. Leazer, Sahar N. Rooholamini, Laura F. Sartori, Fran Balamuth, Christopher Woll, Mark I. Neuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the Rochester and modified Philadelphia criteria for the risk stratification of febrile infants with invasive bacterial infection (IBI) who do not appear ill without routine cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) testing. METHODS: We performed a case-control study of febrile infants ≤60 days old presenting to 1 of 9 emergency departments from 2011 to 2016. For each infant with IBI (defined as a blood [bacteremia] and/or CSF [bacterial meningitis] culture with growth of a pathogen), controls without IBI were matched by site and date of visit. Infants were excluded if they appeared ill or had a complex chronic condition or if data for any component of the Rochester or modified Philadelphia criteria were missing. RESULTS: Overall, 135 infants with IBI (118 [87.4%] with bacteremia without meningitis and 17 [12.6%] with bacterial meningitis) and 249 controls were included. The sensitivity of the modified Philadelphia criteria was higher than that of the Rochester criteria (91.9% vs 81.5%; P =.01), but the specificity was lower (34.5% vs 59.8%; P <.001). Among 67 infants >28 days old with IBI, the sensitivity of both criteria was 83.6%; none of the 11 low-risk infants had bacterial meningitis. Of 68 infants ≤28 days old with IBI, 14 (20.6%) were low risk per the Rochester criteria, and 2 had meningitis. CONCLUSIONS: The modified Philadelphia criteria had high sensitivity for IBI without routine CSF testing, and all infants >28 days old with bacterial meningitis were classified as high risk. Because some infants with bacteremia were classified as low risk, infants discharged from the emergency department without CSF testing require close follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20181879
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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