The available hospital records of all pediatric patients diagnosed as having periorbital, preseptal or orbital cellulitis over a five-year period were reviewed and compared to previously reported series. Only two of 39 patients had orbital cellulitis. The 37 patients with preseptal cellulitis had two characteristic clinical presentations. Twenty-two children had local trauma, abscesses, insect bites, or impetigo as the inciting event for their cellulitis. Infection was usually caused by staphylococci or streptococci. In contrast, 15 children, 12 of whom were under 36 months, had associated upper respiratory tract infections and otitis. Haemophilus influenzae was the most commonly implicated pathogen and the children were at risk of bacteremia and metastastic infection. Determination of the location of the infection in the orbit and consideration of the clinical presentation of the patient with infection in and about the orbit are of assistance in choosing appropriate therapy. Young children who have upper respiratory tract symptoms in association with preseptal cellulitis should receive antibiotic coverage for Haemophilus.
- Received March 13, 1978.
- Accepted August 4, 1978.
- Copyright © 1978 by the American Academy of Pediatrics