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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2007 Oct;131(10):1591-4.

A case of fatal disseminated Bartonella henselae infection (cat-scratch disease) with encephalitis.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA.


Cat-scratch disease resulting from Bartonella henselae infection is usually a benign, self-limited process in immunocompetent children. Even the rare cases associated with neurologic manifestations are not generally fatal. We report a case of a previously healthy 6-year-old boy with cat-scratch disease, systemic dissemination, and encephalitis that led to his death. Autopsy revealed perivascular lymphocytic infiltrates and microglial nodules in the brain. To our knowledge, this finding has not been previously reported in B. henselae infection, possibly because of the paucity of material available for complete neuropathologic evaluation. This case illustrates the extreme severity of the spectrum with which cat-scratch disease can present and provides evidence of brain histopathology that may be representative of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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