Validation of Septic Knee Monoarthritis Prediction Rule in a Lyme Disease Endemic Area.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2021 May 13

ISSN Number



<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>In Lyme disease endemic areas, Lyme and septic arthritis often present similarly. A published septic knee arthritis clinical prediction rule includes 2 high-risk predictors: absolute neutrophil count of 10,000 cells/mm or greater and erythrocyte sedimentation rate of 40 mm/h or greater. The objective of the study was to externally validate this prediction rule in a multicenter prospective cohort.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We enrolled a prospective cohort of children with knee monoarthritis undergoing evaluation for Lyme disease at 1 of 8 Pedi Lyme Net emergency departments located in endemic areas. We defined a case of septic arthritis with a positive synovial fluid culture or a synovial fluid white blood cell count of 50,000 or greater per high powered field with a positive blood culture and Lyme arthritis with a positive or equivocal C6 EIA, followed by a positive supplemental immunoblot. Other children were classified as having inflammatory arthritis. We report the performance of the septic arthritis clinical prediction rule in our study population.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Of the 543 eligible children, 13 had septic arthritis (2.4%), 234 Lyme arthritis (43.1%), and 296 inflammatory arthritis (54.5%). Of the 457 children (84.2%) with available laboratory predictors, all children with septic arthritis were classified as high risk (sensitivity, 100%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 62.8%-100%; specificity, 68.1%; 95% CI, 63.6-73.3; negative predictive value, 278/278 [100%]; 95% CI, 98.6%-100%). Of the 303 low-risk children, 52 (17.2%) underwent diagnostic arthrocentesis.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>The septic knee arthritis clinical prediction rule accurately distinguished between septic and Lyme arthritis in an endemic area. Clinical application may reduce unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures.</p>



Alternate Title

Pediatr Emerg Care




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