Which age groups have the highest prevalence of septic thrombophlebitis?

Updated: Oct 05, 2021
  • Author: JE Robyn Hanna, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Extremes of age predispose patients to catheter-related septic thrombophlebitis. Bloodstream infections were found to be the cause of as much as 30% of nosocomial infections in neonates with intravenous catheters, [26] with undeveloped host defenses thought to be responsible for this. Vulnerability is also increased in elderly persons, likely secondary to concomitant illnesses and a nonspecific, age-related decline in immunologic function.

Garrison et al reported increased risk for the development of major complications from intravenous catheter placement in patients aged 50 years and older, with an odds ratio of 4.7. [27]

Notable exceptions to the above age-related predispositions are Lemierre syndrome and septic pelvic and ovarian thrombophlebitides: Lemierre disease occurs in healthy, young adults with a mean age of onset of 20 years, [8] whereas septic pelvic and ovarian thrombophlebitides occur in women of childbearing age.

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