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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2015 Sep 10

language: English

Final diagnoses of children and adolescents with musculoskeletal complaints

Cavkaytar O. 1, Düzova A. 2, Tekşam O. 3, Karabulut E. 4, Derman O. 5, Kale G. 1, Ozen S. 2

1 Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Ankara, Turkey;
2 Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Rheumatology, Ankara, Turkey;
3 Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Ankara, Turkey;
4 Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biostatistics4, Ankara, Turkey;
5 Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Ankara, Turkey


AIM: Musculoskeletal complaints (MSCs) are one of the leading causes of outpatient admissions; however analytical and epidemiological data are limited. The aim of this study is to identify the etiology of MSCs (excluding acute traumatic conditions) in children and adolescents, and to identify clues for the differential diagnosis.
METHODS: Children and adolescents presenting with musculoskeletal pain, swelling or limitation of movement were enrolled in a prospective design. Demographic, clinical and laboratory features were recorded.
RESULTS: Four hundred twenty-two children (48.2% female) with a mean age of 7.90 ± 3.95 years were enrolled. Etiology was identified in 97.2% of the cases: non-inflammatory and mechanical conditions (NIMC, 42.2%), rheumatic diseases (RD, 31%), infection-related disorders (IRD, 21.6%) and malignancy (M, 2.4%). NIMC was characterised by longer duration of complaints, a higher rate of non-articular complaints, a lower rate of joint involvement and limping and lower levels of leukocytes, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP). The prevalence of RD was higher in the age group of >12 years; younger age was associated with higher prevalence of IRD. Small-joint involvement was highest in the RD group. Median ESR in RD and M groups was higher; compared to the other groups; the frequency of patients with ESR ≥ 60 mm/hr was higher in the M group; compared to the RD group. In the RD group familial Mediterranean fever (9.7%), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (8.3%) and Henoch-Schönlein purpura (5.7%) were the leading causes of MSCs.
CONCLUSION: RD accounted for one-third of the etiologies for MSCs. Age, duration of complaints, pattern of joint involvement and acute phase reactants are practical tools that may guide the pediatrician for diagnosis.

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