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Braz J Infect Dis. 2004 Jun;8(3):263-6. Epub 2004 Sep 29.

Acute hemiplegia associated with cat-scratch disease.

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Department of Infectious Disease, Nossa Senhora das Gra├žas Hospital, Curitiba, PR, Brazil.


Cat scratch disease (CSD) is an infectious illness caused by a Gram-negative rod named Bartonella henselae. Typical CSD is characterized by a small skin lesion at the site of a scratch or a bite, followed by regional lymphadenopathy, one to two weeks later. Atypical forms may present as ocular manifestations, neurological manifestations, hepatosplenic involvement and vertebral osteomyelitis. Among neurological complications, encephalopathy is by far the most common. Other neurological manifestations are very rare. We report a case of an 11-year-old boy, with a posterior cervical lymphadenopathy and fever. Cat scratch disease was diagnosed and treated after a positive "Whartin-Starry" stain on lymph node biopsy. Two weeks after treatment, the patient was readmitted presenting an acute episode of left hemiplegia. A brain MRI demonstrated a right subcortical fronto-parietal lesion with no contrast enhancement. Complete recovery was observed after corticosteroid treatment.

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