Mandibular Osteomyelitis and Cervical Lymphadenitis Due to : Surgical Management of a Pediatric Cohort With a Shared Epidemiologic ExposureMycobacterium abscessus: Surgical Management of a Pediatric Cohort With a Shared Epidemiologic Exposure

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Mycobacterium abscessus has been implicated as the cause of various infections in the setting of healthcare-related “outbreaks.” Mandibular osteomyelitis caused by M abscessus is exceedingly rare, with only 1 patient reported in the literature. The authors describe the surgical management of 12 pediatric patients with M abscessus-related mandibular osteomyelitis and cervical lymphadenitis caused by exposure to contaminated water at a regional dental clinic.


Following institutional review board approval, new suspected patients were reviewed and followed prospectively. A multidisciplinary team coordinated the surgical approach, antibiotic regimen, and follow-up for each patient.


Twelve patients (median age 7.5 years) received treatment of M abscessus infection. Eleven had mandibular osteomyelitis and underwent debridement along with extraction of affected teeth. Eight had lymphadenitis and underwent excision of involved nodes. Four patients (in whom surgical debridement was considered inadequate) received antibiotic therapy with a regimen of amikacin, cefoxitin, and azithromycin for 4 months. Nine of 12 patients have been followed for a median of 5 months (range 1–11 months); no patient has evidence of persistent clinical infection. Three of 4 patients treated with amikacin have high-frequency hearing loss.


The authors describe a pediatric cohort with mandibular osteomyelitis and cervical lymphadenitis due to M abscessus following pulpotomy at a single dental clinic. Diagnosis required a high index of suspicion. Patients in our series had resolution of infection even without antibiotic therapy, suggesting that early complete surgical debridement and removal of affected lymph nodes can be sufficient as a sole treatment modality.

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