Several studies have reported an increasing incidence of childhood parapneumonic empyemas in various countries.
Aim of the study: The aim of our study was to estimate the annual incidence of complicated community-acquired pneumonias in children during a 9-year period in a French area and to describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of these complications.
Population and methods: We have listed the children from 28 days to 15 years old, hospitalized in the 2 children hospitals of the Isere district for a community-acquired pneumonia complicated with a pleural empyema or a pulmonary abscess from 1995 to 2003.
Results: During the study period, 90 children were hospitalized for a complicated pneumonia including 83 pleural empyemas and 7 isolated lung abscess. The average number of cases was 4 per year from 1995 to 1998 then increased since 1999 to reach 34 cases in 2003, according to a linear model (P<0,001). The incidence of the complicated pneumonia, plotted to the paediatric population of the area has gone up from 0.5 per 100000 to 13 per 100000 children between 1995 and 2003.
Conclusion: The incidence of the complicated pneumonias in children increased since 1999 in a French area. Additional investigations are necessary to identify the causes of this increase.