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Co-infection with two Chlamydophila species in a case of fulminant myocarditis

Gernot Walder1Walter GritschChristian J WiedermannGerhard PölzlGünther LauferHelmut HotzelAngela BerndtSabine PankuweitDirk TheegartenOlaf AnhennAlbrecht OehmeManfred P DierichReinhard Würzner

Crit Care Med. 2007 Feb;35(2):623-6.  doi: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000254726.57339.C8.


Objective: The aim of this study is to describe a case of fulminant myocarditis caused by co-infection with Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydophila psittaci in order to facilitate diagnosis and clinical management of patients suffering from this rare but life-threatening condition.

Design: Case report.

Setting: Intensive care unit of Innsbruck Medical University.

Patient: A 24-yr-old patient admitted with septicemia and cardiac failure.

Interventions: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, extracorporal membrane oxygenation, implantation of an extracorporal cardiac assist device, and antibiotic treatment with erythromycin.

Measurements and main results: Cp. pneumoniae and Cp. psittaci were identified by means of polymerase chain reaction and electron microscopy in the patient’s myocytes. Successful weaning off the ventricular assist device was performed within 2 wks after commencement of antibiotic therapy.

Conclusions: This case report demonstrates co-infection with Cp. pneumoniae and Cp. psittaci to be a hitherto unknown cause of fulminant myocarditis. There is a particular risk of misdiagnosis of viral myocarditis, which must be avoided. Patients should be transferred to a center where extracorporal membrane oxygenation therapy and molecular diagnosis of all members of the family Chlamydiaceae are available.

Links: PMID: 17204998; DOI: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000254726.57339.C8

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