Pressure Ulcer-Related Pelvic Osteomyelitis: A Neglected Disease?

Bodavula, Phani; Liang, Stephen Y; Wu, Jiami; VanTassell, Paige; Marschall, Jonas (2015). Pressure Ulcer-Related Pelvic Osteomyelitis: A Neglected Disease? Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 2(3), ofv112. Oxford University Press 10.1093/ofid/ofv112

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

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Marschall, Jonas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

30 Sep 2015 13:56

Last Modified:

30 Sep 2015 13:56

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

chronic; osteomyelitis; pelvis; pressure ulcer




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