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Costochondritis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Pediatric Consult.

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Costochondritis is chest pain that emanates from a costal cartilage and is reproducible on compression of that cartilage.


  • Frequency of sternal wound infections following median sternotomy is 0.1–1.6%.
  • Costochondritis accounts for 10–31% of all pediatric chest pain.
  • Peak age for chest pain in children is 12 to 14 years.


  • Inflammation of unknown etiology (Histologic examination is usually normal.)
  • Infection
    • Can present months to years after surgery (The costal cartilage is avascular, making it vulnerable to infection if it has been exposed, injured, or denuded of perichondrium.)
    • Complication of median sternotomy
    • Occurs by spread from adjacent osteomyelitis or may arise de novo during surgery


  • Infectious
    • Bacterial
      • Staphylococcus aureus (especially after thoracic surgery)
      • Salmonella (in sickle cell disease)
      • Escherichia coli
      • Pseudomonas sp.
      • Klebsiella sp.
    • Fungal
      • Aspergillus flavus
      • Candida albicans
  • Posttraumatic injury

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Cabana, Michael D., editor. "Costochondritis." 5-Minute Pediatric Consult, 8th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019. Pediatrics Central, peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617108/all/Costochondritis.
Costochondritis. In: Cabana MD, ed. 5-Minute Pediatric Consult. 8th ed. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617108/all/Costochondritis. Accessed April 23, 2019.
Costochondritis. (2019). In Cabana, M. D. (Ed.), 5-Minute Pediatric Consult. Available from https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617108/all/Costochondritis
Costochondritis [Internet]. In: Cabana MD, editors. 5-Minute Pediatric Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. [cited 2019 April 23]. Available from: https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617108/all/Costochondritis.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Costochondritis ID - 617108 ED - Cabana,Michael D, BT - 5-Minute Pediatric Consult UR - https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617108/all/Costochondritis PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 8 DB - Pediatrics Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -