Approximately 2,500 cases of systemic meningococcal infections are reported to the National Center for Disease Control in Atlanta each year. Meningococcal endocarditis (ME) is, however, a quite rare disease with a total of 24 cases cited in the last published review in 1946.1 To our knowledge, there has been no prior report of Neisseria meningitidis which involved an artifical valve prosthesis. The unusual fulminant course associated with this organism and the potential chance of antibiotic control stimulated this patient report.
A 58-year-old white woman was admitted for the third time to Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center on March 23, 1969, because of increasing weakness and easy fatigability. She had developed rheumatic fever when she was a child and had three recurrent acute attacks of rheumatic fever before she was 28 years old. She did well until three years prior to admission when she developed progressive dyspnea on exertion,