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Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2012 Jul;15(1):161-3. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivs116. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Tropheryma whipplei endocarditis without gastrointestinal involvement.

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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Liverpool, UK.


Whipple's disease, caused by the bacterium Tropheryma whipplei, is a rare chronic multi-system illness commonly affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and presenting with a triad of diarrhoea, weight loss and malabsorption. While 20-55% of patients with a diagnosis of Whipple's disease have clinically evident cardiac manifestations, the initial presentation with isolated valvular disease, without any GI symptoms, is rare. Whereas cardiac involvement usually involves a single valve, cases of double-valve involvement are extremely rare. We report the case of a patient with T. whipplei native aortic and mitral valvular endocarditis, without GI involvement, who presented with the new-onset cardiac failure and ventricular arrhythmias, which required urgent double-valve replacement. This case report is accompanied by a review of the relevant literature.

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