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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 210-216

Gallbladder sludge associated with ceftriaxone therapy for typhoid fever in Nigerian children: A case series

1 Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Lawal W Umar
Consultant Paediatrician, Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ssajm.ssajm_29_16

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Ceftriaxone is a third-generation cephalosporin with a wide spectrum of activity against both gram-negative and gram-positive organisms. Ceftriaxone has proven efficacy against severe and difficult-to-treat community-acquired infections including typhoid fever and other sepsis syndromes caused by multi-drug resistant organisms. Several studies including prospective studies exist in the literature that described the accumulation of sonographically demonstrable sludge (or precipitates) in the gallbladder and sometimes in the urinary tract. The accumulation of sludge occurs during therapy for severe infections in some children identified with certain predisposing factors. The condition is often asymptomatic but might be associated with clinical features that could mimic disease progression in patients with intra-abdominal manifestations of infection such as typhoid fever. Five Nigerian children aged between 4 and 11 years developed demonstrable gallbladder sludge (precipitate) while on treatment for typhoid fever with ceftriaxone. Three of the children manifested clinical features suggestive of gallbladder precipitate accumulation following commencement of the antibiotic, while the other two did not. Ceftriaxone therapy was continued to completion in all the cases along with conservative management. Four of the children recovered and had resolution of the sludge, while the fifth died of multi-organ failure after surgery for intestinal perforation. Although several studies exist in the literature regarding this condition, our search using Medline and Google Scholar did not identify such reports from children in Nigeria or sub-Saharan Africa. The cases are presented to create awareness on the possibility of occurrence of a drug-induced biliary precipitate formation in children.

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