Journal Article

Role of Benzathine Penicillin G in Prophylaxis for Recurrent Streptococcal Cellulitis of the Lower Legs

Jen-Hsien Wang, Yung-Ching Liu, Deh-Lin Cheng, Muh-Yong Yen, Yao-Shen Chen, Jao-Hsien Wang, Shue-Ren Wann and Hsi-Hsun Lin

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 25, issue 3, pages 685-689
Published in print September 1997 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 1997 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/513752
Role of Benzathine Penicillin G in Prophylaxis for Recurrent Streptococcal Cellulitis of the Lower Legs

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Cellulitis of the lower leg is an infection caused by streptococci or, less commonly, Staphylococcus aureus and other gram-negative rods. Recurrence of cellulitis is a common problem. In the present study, we evaluated the use of monthly intramuscular injections of benzathine penicillin G to prevent recurrences of cellulitis. A total of 115 patients with definite or presumptive cases of streptococcal cellulitis were enrolled in this study. Eighty-four of these patients who declined follow-up or received incomplete prophylaxis were considered controls. Recurrence occurred in four (12.9%) of 31 cases who received prophylaxis and 16 (19%) of the 84 cases who did not receive prophylaxis. The difference was not statistically significant. Predisposing factors for cellulitis were found in 57 (49.6%) of the 115 enrolled cases and were mostly related to the impairment of local circulation. Administration of prophylaxis successfully reduced the recurrence rate to zero among patients without predisposing factors but failed to prevent recurrence in those with predisposing factors (20%). We conclude that monthly benzathine penicillin G prophylaxis benefits only patients without predisposing factors for cellulitis.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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