Randomized, comparative efficacy trial of oral penicillin versus cefuroxime for perianal streptococcal dermatitis in children.
Author(s): Meury SN, Erb T, Schaad UB, Heininger U
Affiliation(s): Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University Children's Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Publication date & source: 2008-12, J Pediatr., 153(6):799-802. Epub 2008 Aug 9.
Publication type: Comparative Study; Randomized Controlled Trial
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy of penicillin compared with cefuroxime for group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus pyogenes (GABHS) perianal dermatitis. STUDY DESIGN: Children 1 to 16 years of age with signs and symptoms of perianal dermatitis and a positive anal swab were randomized to penicillin or cefuroxime treatment and were clinically re-evaluated on day 3 and at the end of treatment (cefuroxime, day 7; penicillin, day 10). An anal swab was obtained to document eradication of GABHS at the end of treatment. Severity of disease was assessed with a clinical score (perianal erythema, 5 points; perianal itch, 3 points; painful defecation, 3 points; constipation, 2 points). RESULTS: Patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to penicillin (n = 18) or cefuroxime (n = 17) treatment. Treatment with penicillin was inferior to cefuroxime, which led to premature study termination after consultation with the ethics committee. Clinical improvement was more rapid in the cefuroxime group (P = .028) and GAHBS was not isolated from the anus the last day of therapy in 13 of 14 patients treated with cefuroxime compared with 7 of 15 patients treated with penicillin (P < .01). CONCLUSIONS: Cefuroxime was more effective than penicillin and therefore should be considered as the treatment of choice for perianal dermatitis due to GABHS.