Nonsteroidal Analgesics and Risk of Empyema

A recent study (M Le Bourgeois et al. J Pediatr 2016; 175: 47-53) from 15 medical centers in France showed an association between nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the development of empyema.

Methods: a case-control design with 83 cases of children with empyema and recent acute viral infection (w/in 15 days) and 83 controls who had recent acute viral infection but no emyema. Age range: 3 months-15 years.  To ascertain the underlying initial viral etiology, the investigators utilized molecular techniques and identified respiratory viruses in about half of both groups of children.

Key finding: Exposure to NSAIDs was associated with a modest increase in the rate of empyema (aOR 2.79).  The risk of empyema associated with NSAIDs was diminished if the  child had been prescribed an antibiotic.

My take: This study, by minimizing confounding factors, suggests that the casual use of NSAIDs during acute viral illnesses increases the chance of developing empyema.


Grinnell Glacier, Glacier Nat'l Park

Grinnell Glacier, Glacier Nat’l Park



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