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Article |

Life-Threatening Cat-Scratch Disease in an Immunocompromised Host

John R. Black, MD; Deirdre A. Herrington, MD; Ted L. Hadfield, PhD; Douglas J. Wear, MD; Andrew M. Margileth, MD; Brian Shigekawa, PhD
Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(2):394-396. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360140238035.
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• We describe a renal allograft recipient with cat-scratch disease in whom refractory hypotension, severe metabolic acidosis, pulmonary infiltrates, and encephalopathy developed. The patient first presented with a history of cat bites and scratches, fever, headache, and arthralgias. Four weeks later, the clinical presentation of septic shock suddenly developed in the patient. Cat-scratch disease was documented clinically and by finding delicate pleomorphic bacilli in Warthin-Starry silver stains of biopsy specimens taken from the primary inoculation site and regional lymph node. The administration of intravenous sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, erythromycin lactobionate, and tobramycin sulfate therapy correlated with recovery. Although cat-scratch disease is usually a benign, self-limited illness, this article illustrates its systemic nature, its potential for devastating complications in the immunocompromised host, and its possible response to vigorous antibiotic therapy.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:394-396)


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