Risk factors for abscess formation in patients with superficial cellulitis (erysipelas) of the leg.
Department of Dermatology, Inserm U905, Institute for Research and Innovation in Biomedicine (IRIB), Rouen University Hospital, University of Normandy, Rouen, France Nutrition unit and EA4311, Institute for Research and Innovation in Biomedicine (IRIB), Rouen University Hospital, University of Normandy, Rouen, France.
Background: Superficial cellulitis of the leg (erysipelas) is a frequent skin infection. Abscess formation is the most frequent local complication. Determinants of abscess formation in patients with leg cellulitis have not been clearly established yet.
The aim of this study was to assess risk factors for abscess formation in patients with leg cellulitis.
Patients and methods: The clinical, biological and bacteriological records of all patients referred to the Dermatology Department of a University Hospital for superficial cellulitis of the leg during a 3-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Using univariate and multivariate analysis, main patients' characteristics at baseline were compared between the group of patients who developed abscess and the group who did not.
Results: One-hundred-and-sixty-four patients (93 females, 71 males) of mean age 65±18 years were included. Abscess occurred in 13 cases (8%). The following general factors were positively associated with abscess formation: male gender, smoking, alcohol abuse, delayed introduction of antibiotic treatment. Based on multivariate analysis, only chronic alcohol abuse (OR=4.3, 95%CI:1.08-20.57) and delayed antibiotic treatment initiation (OR=1.4, 95%CI:1.02-2.04) remained independently associated with abscess formation.
Conclusion: Alcohol abuse and delayed initiation of antibiotic treatment are risk factors for abscess formation in patients with cellulitis of the leg. Patients with these predictors must be monitored carefully for abscess formation.
Labels: antibiotic treatment, Cellulitis, Erysipelas, leg, leg abscess, Risk factors