Bartonella Endocarditis Presenting as Recurrent Cerebral Mycotic Aneurysm.

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Bartonella henselae is a known cause of culture-negative endocarditis, which can be difficult to diagnose without a high clinical suspicion as specific diagnostic testing is required. We report the case of a 48-year-old male who presented with altered sensorium. A CT of the head showed left-hemispheric intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) likely secondary to ruptured left posterior cerebral artery (PCA) fusiform aneurysm seen on catheter cerebral angiogram, which was treated with endovascular embolization. The patient had a significant history of mitral valve prolapse; however, a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) was negative for any vegetation. Blood cultures were also negative. A year later, he presented with another ICH in the PCA territory and was found to have a new left distal PCA aneurysm, which was again treated with endovascular embolization. During that hospitalization, an echocardiogram showed myxomatous changes in the mitral valve with severe mitral regurgitation; however, blood cultures were negative. Further queries about the patient's social history revealed that his spouse had been a cat owner in 2018, which prompted Bartonella henselae testing. The blood work showed elevated immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers for which he was placed on antibiotics. A follow-up catheter angiogram detected a new distal middle cerebral artery (MCA) M4 branch aneurysm treated with surgical clipping. The aneurysm tested positive for Bartonella henselae on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. The patient subsequently underwent successful mitral valve replacement, which also was positive for Bartonella henselae on PCR testing; however, the Warthin-Starry stain was negative. This case demonstrates how a comprehensive history along with persistent evaluation for the underlying etiology of cerebral aneurysms can lead to the diagnosis of Bartonella henselae endocarditis. Cerebral mycotic aneurysms are known complications of endocarditis; however, the underlying infection can be difficult to diagnose. Recognition of this culture-negative endocarditis is critical for the appropriate treatment and management of patients to prevent morbidity and mortality.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine

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