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Neth J Med. 1994 Feb;44(2):60-4.

Q-fever in a patient with a ventriculo-peritoneal drain. Case report and short review of the literature.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Diakonessen Hospital, Utrecht, Netherlands.


Although Q-fever is still a relatively rare disease in the Netherlands, its incidence seems to be increasing. In this article we describe the case-history of a 65-year-old woman with a Pudenz-drain, who acquired Q-fever pneumonia while manuring her garden. The course of the disease was deviant, which most likely was caused by colonization of the ventriculo-peritoneal drain with Coxiella burnetii. Q-fever usually presents as a self-limiting illness. In the case of chronic Q-fever, complications such as endocarditis, hepatitis or meningo-encephalitis can be fatal and require long-term treatment. Patients with artificial drains or valves carry a greater risk of developing such complications. Therefore, especially in patients at risk, Q-fever should be included in the differential diagnosis when dealing with a patient with unexplained fever.

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