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Eczema Herpeticum Hospitalizations Increase Noted

J Invest Dermatol; ePub 2017 Sep 16; Hsu, Shinkai, et al

Eczema herpeticum (EH) is characterized by viral infection of a preexisting inflammatory dermatosis and is associated with considerable morbidity. The mean annual incidence of hospitalization for EH per million US children increased significantly in 2008 to 2012, according to a recent cross-sectional study where researchers sought to determine the incidence, risk factors, comorbidities, costs of care, length of stay (LOS), and mortality in hospitalized children with EH. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample 2002-2012, containing a 20% sample of all US hospitalizations, was analyzed and a validated approach involving ICD-9-CM codes to identify patients primarily admitted for EH (n=4,655 weighted) was used. They found:

  • The mean annual incidence of hospitalization for EH per million children ranged from 4.03-7.30.
  • EH was associated with younger age, non-white race/ethnicity, but less likely to occur in areas with lower income quartiles.
  • EH was associated with atopic dermatitis.
  • Increased LOS and costs of care were associated with Asian race.
  • Mean LOS was 3.86±0.09 days and cost of care was $5,237.6±160.6.
  • Overall mortality was 0.1%.


Hsu DY, Shinkai K, Silverberg JI. Epidemiology of eczema herpeticum in hospitalized US children: Analysis of a nationwide cohort. [Published online ahead of print September 16, 2017]. J Invest Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jid.2017.08.039.

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