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BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Dec 12;2013. pii: bcr2013010424. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2013-010424.

Cat scratch disease and lymph node tuberculosis in a colon patient with cancer.

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Oncology Department, Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, EPE, Lisboa, Portugal.


A 71-year-old man operated for a sigmoid tumour remained in the surveillance after adjuvant chemotherapy. After 3 years, a left axillary lymph node was visible on CT scan. The biopsy revealed a necrotising and abscessed granulomatous lymphadenitis, suggestive of cat scratch disease. The patient confirmed having been scratched by a cat and the serology for Bartonella henselae was IgM+/IgG-. Direct and culture examinations for tuberculosis were negative. The patient was treated for cat scratch disease. One year later, the CT scan showed increased left axillary lymph nodes and a left pleural effusion. Direct and cultural examinations to exclude tuberculosis were again negative. Interferon-γ release assay testing for tuberculosis was undetermined and then positive. Lymph node and pleural tuberculosis were diagnosed and treated with a good radiological response. This article has provides evidence of the importance of continued search for the right diagnosis and that two diagnoses can happen in the same patient.

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