To evaluate risk factors associated with surgical intervention and subperiosteal/orbital abscess in hospitalized children with severe orbital infections.
We conducted a multicenter cohort study of children 2 months to 18 years hospitalized with periorbital or orbital cellulitis from 2009 to 2018 at 10 hospitals in Canada. Clinical details were extracted, and patients were categorized as undergoing surgical or medical-only management. Primary outcome was surgical intervention and the main secondary outcome was clinically important imaging. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors.
Of 1579 patients entered, median age was 5.4 years, 409 (25.9%) had an orbital/subperiosteal abscess, and 189 (12.0%) underwent surgery. In the adjusted analysis, the risk of surgical intervention was associated with older age (age 9-120 mg/L (aOR 2.8, 95% CI 1.3-5.9), elevated WBC of 12-20,000/μL (aOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.6), proptosis (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.7-4.0), and subperiosteal/orbital abscess (aOR 5.3, 95% CI 3.6-7.9). There was no association with antibiotic use prior to hospital admission, sex, presence of a chronic disease, temperature above 38.0°C, and eye swollen shut. Complications were identified in 4.7% of patients, including vision loss (0.6%), intracranial extension (1.6%), and meningitis (0.8%).
In children hospitalized with severe orbital infections, older age, elevated CRP, elevated WBC, proptosis, and subperiosteal/orbital abscess were predictors of surgical intervention.

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