Aim: To characterize the features of juvenile parotitis in a prospective setup and epidemiology.
Methods: All children with parotitis admitted to Helsinki University Central Hospital 2005–2010 were recruited. Clinical characteristics, given treatment, outcome, blood leukocyte count, C-reactive protein, serum amylase and trypsinogen, SPINK-1 genotype and mumps antibodies were recorded. To map the epidemiology, a questionnaire was sent to 1000 randomly selected 13-year-old children.
Results: The prospective study included 41 children (aged ≤ 17) with acute parotitis, all in good general condition. Serum amylase, but not trypsinogen, was elevated in majority of the cases (79%) and C-reactive protein in 68%. Eleven (27%) children had an elevated blood leukocyte count. None had acute mumps. Most children recovered well, 51% being treated symptomatically only. Seven children were treated on ward. Seventeen (46%) children had recurrent symptoms. One child (2.4%) had SPINK P55S mutation. According to the epidemiological questionnaire, 1.1% of the respondents (8/728, response rate 73%) reported a verified episode(s) of parotitis.
Conclusion: Juvenile parotitis has a frequency close to 1%. In the majority, the general condition is good during the episode. Serum amylase serves as an additional marker for the disease. Parotitis has a tendency to recur in almost half of the cases.