PEDIATRICS recent issues

Congenital Syphilis Misdiagnosed as Suspected Nonaccidental Trauma

Congenital syphilis (CS) is a preventable infection, yet the incidence has surged to the highest rates in 20 years. Because 50% of live-born infants with CS are asymptomatic at birth, there is an increasing likelihood that pediatric providers will encounter older infants whose diagnoses were missed at birth, emphasizing the importance of timely prenatal screening and treatment. We present one such case of an infant admitted twice at 3 and 4 months of age with long bone fractures and suspected nonaccidental trauma. On her second presentation, several additional symptoms prompted evaluation for and eventual diagnosis of CS. In this case, it is demonstrated that an isolated long bone fracture can be a first presentation of CS, with other classic findings possibly appearing later. Pediatric providers should be familiar with the varied presentations of CS in older children, including the radiographic findings that we describe. The rising rates of CS reveal deficiencies in our current strategy to prevent CS and, thus, we recommend reconsideration of universal syphilis screening in the third trimester and at delivery, with timely treatment to prevent CS during pregnancy.

Screening Children for Social Determinants of Health: A Systematic Review

CONTEXT:

Screening children for social determinants of health (SDOHs) has gained attention in recent years, but there is a deficit in understanding the present state of the science.

OBJECTIVE:

To systematically review SDOH screening tools used with children, examine their psychometric properties, and evaluate how they detect early indicators of risk and inform care.

DATA SOURCES:

Comprehensive electronic search of PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Science Core Collection.

STUDY SELECTION:

Studies in which a tool that screened children for multiple SDOHs (defined according to Healthy People 2020) was developed, tested, and/or employed.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Extraction domains included study characteristics, screening tool characteristics, SDOHs screened, and follow-up procedures.

RESULTS:

The search returned 6274 studies. We retained 17 studies encompassing 11 screeners. Study samples were diverse with respect to biological sex and race and/or ethnicity. Screening was primarily conducted in clinical settings with a parent or caregiver being the primary informant for all screeners. Psychometric properties were assessed for only 3 screeners. The most common SDOH domains screened included the family context and economic stability. Authors of the majority of studies described referrals and/or interventions that followed screening to address identified SDOHs.

LIMITATIONS:

Following the Healthy People 2020 SDOH definition may have excluded articles that other definitions would have captured.

CONCLUSIONS:

The extent to which SDOH screening accurately assessed a child’s SDOHs was largely unevaluated. Authors of future research should also evaluate if referrals and interventions after the screening effectively address SDOHs and improve child well-being.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae Carriage With De Novo Macrolide-Resistance and Breakthrough Pneumonia

Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia is prevalent in children and can be followed by upper airway carriage for months. Treatment of M pneumoniae pneumonia with macrolides is widespread and can lead to the development of macrolide resistance. The clinical consequences of chronic M pneumoniae carriage are unknown. In this article, we describe a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who developed macrolide-susceptible M pneumoniae pneumonia confirmed by nasopharyngeal secretions polymerase chain reaction and culture with good response to azithromycin. Five months later, the patient developed another M pneumoniae pneumonia that was diagnosed with positive macrolide-resistant M pneumoniae polymerase chain reaction and culture from the bronchoalveolar lavage. The child responded well to fluoroquinolones and eventually was discharged from the hospital. The M pneumoniae recovered from the second pneumonia is a novel strain and is genetically identical to the M pneumoniae that caused the first pneumonia, apart from the macrolide-resistance 23S ribosomal RNA gene. Both isolates are identical in both P1 (subtype 2 with a novel variant, 2bv) and multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis type (53662). This is indicative of chronic M pneumoniae carriage with de novo macrolide-resistance mutation and subsequent breakthrough pneumonia that is reported for the first time here. Children with immunosuppression may be at increased risk of life-threatening macrolide-resistant pneumonia after M pneumoniae carriage. Further studies are required to evaluate the impact of this phenomenon. This will then guide strategies to limit the associated morbidity, such as testing for macrolide resistance, treatment of M pneumoniae pneumonia in high-risk children with bactericidal antibiotics (such as fluoroquinolones), and possibly eradication protocols of M pneumoniae carriage to prevent subsequent life-threatening infections.

ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment Guidelines: A Historical Perspective

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common behavioral condition and the second most common chronic illness in children. The observance of specific behaviors in multiple settings have remained the most successful method for diagnosing the condition, and although there are differences in specific areas of the brain, and a high heritability estimate (~76%), they are not diagnostically specific. Medications, and particularly stimulant medication, have undergone rigorous studies to document their efficacy dating back to the 1970s. Likewise, behavioral interventions in the form of parent training and classroom programs have demonstrated robust efficacy during the same time period. Both medication and behavioral interventions are symptomatic treatments. The availability of only symptomatic treatments places ADHD in the same category as other chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma. Successful treatment of most individuals requires ongoing adherence to the therapy. Improved communication between patients and their families, primary and mental health providers, and school personnel is necessary for effective ADHD treatment. Further enhancement of electronic systems to facilitate family, school, and provider communication can improve monitoring of ADHD symptoms and functional performance. The American Academy of Pediatrics ADHD guidelines were initially developed to help primary care clinicians address the needs of their patients with ADHD and were further refined with the second revision in 2019.

Modern-day Slavery in our Health Care System: An Advocacy Journey

The following is the winning submission from the third annual Section on Pediatric Trainees essay competition. This year’s competition was informed by the 2018–2019 Section on Pediatric Trainees Advocacy Campaign: Advocacy Adventure, which empowered trainees to find their areas of passion, acquire and polish new skills, and organize advocacy efforts collaboratively. We asked writers to share experiences as physician advocates and were impressed with the broad variety of important topics submitted by trainees from around the country. This essay by Drs Panda and Garg highlights a critical issue facing children, human trafficking, and shares their innovative and sustainable survivor-informed training for pediatric trainees. Along with the runner-up submission by Dr Ju, which also appears in this issue, this piece is a wonderfully inspiring reminder that we are all well positioned to advocate for children in our roles as trainees and pediatricians.

What I Learned From the Antivaccine Movement

The following is the runner-up submission from the third annual Section on Pediatric Trainees essay competition. This year’s competition was informed by the 2018–2019 Section on Pediatric Trainees Advocacy Campaign: Advocacy Adventure, which empowered trainees to find their areas of passion, acquire and polish new skills, and organize advocacy efforts collaboratively. We asked writers to share experiences as physician advocates and were impressed with the broad variety of important topics submitted by trainees from around the country. This essay by Dr Ju describes advocating at the California state level for childhood immunization protections, which transformed her perspective of those who hold a different view. Along with the winning submission by Drs Panda and Garg that also appears in this issue, this piece is a wonderfully inspiring reminder that we are all well positioned to advocate for children in our roles as trainees and pediatricians.

Executive Summary: Criteria for Critical Care of Infants and Children: PICU Admission, Discharge, and Triage Practice Statement and Levels of Care Guidance

This is an executive summary of the 2019 update of the 2004 guidelines and levels of care for PICU. Since previous guidelines, there has been a tremendous transformation of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine with advancements in pediatric cardiovascular medicine, transplant, neurology, trauma, and oncology as well as improvements of care in general PICUs. This has led to the evolution of resources and training in the provision of care through the PICU. Outcome and quality research related to admission, transfer, and discharge criteria as well as literature regarding PICU levels of care to include volume, staffing, and structure were reviewed and included in this statement as appropriate. Consequently, the purposes of this significant update are to address the transformation of the field and codify a revised set of guidelines that will enable hospitals, institutions, and individuals in developing the appropriate PICU for their community needs. The target audiences of the practice statement and guidance are broad and include critical care professionals; pediatricians; pediatric subspecialists; pediatric surgeons; pediatric surgical subspecialists; pediatric imaging physicians; and other members of the patient care team such as nurses, therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, care coordinators, and hospital administrators who make daily administrative and clinical decisions in all PICU levels of care.

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