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Title: Skeletal and Surgical Evidence for Acute Osteomyelitis in Non-Adult Individuals
Authors: Santos, Ana Luísa 
Suby, Jorge Alejandro 
Keywords: Infecção aguda; Paleopatologia; Tratamento cirúrgico; Pre-antibiótico; Portugal
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Citation: SANTOS, Ana Luísa; SUBY, Jorge Alejandro - Skeletal and surgical evidence for acute osteomyelitis in non-adult individuals. "International Journal of Osteoarcheology". Posprint aceite para publicação a 19 de Setembro de 2012. Disponível na WWW, em:
Serial title, monograph or event: International Journal of Osteoarcheology
Abstract: Osteomyelitis is a non-specific infection of bone and bone marrow. In the past acute osteomyelitis (AO) led to high mortality especially in non-adults. Nevertheless, its diagnosis in archaeological populations is rare. Documented individuals with known cause of death offer a unique opportunity to study this condition. This paper aims to describe the bone lesions in non-adults diagnosed with AO at the Coimbra University Hospital (CUH) and now belonging to the Coimbra Identified Skeletal Collection (CISC). Moreover, mortality rates and demographic profiles for individuals aged ≤18 years old and diagnosed with AO in the CUH, between 1923 and 1929, were also determined. The 5 (1%) non-adults in the CISC with AO listed as cause of death were selected for this study and their bones were analysed macroscopically and radiologically. The skeletal remains of one individual revealed a small area of new bone formation in the shaft of the left femur. Radiography of this bone showed a radio-opaque area in the diaphysis. The other four individuals show evidence of surgical treatment, responsible for many cases of disability in the past. In the 7-year period under analysis, 122 juveniles were diagnosed with osteomyelitis and admitted for surgery at the CUH, 43 (35.2%) of which were diagnosed with AO. Sixty-five percent of the cases of AO occurred between the ages of 8 and 15 years, with males twice as frequently affected as females, and lower limb bones were involved in 91% of AO cases. AO was responsible for 76.9% of the deaths. This study of pre-antibiotic non-adults may help to recognize skeletal signs of AO and their surgical treatment in unidentified skeletal remains.
ISSN: 1099-1212
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CIAS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
FCTUC Ciências da Vida - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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