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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2003 Mar;24(1):41-4.

Fatal Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome due to Ewingella americana infection.

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Institute of Legal Medicine, Department of Forensic Pathology, Hamburg, Germany.


A fatal case of Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome resulting from infection in a previously healthy 74-year-old woman is reported. The patient died suddenly within 14 hours after presentation. The diagnosis of Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome as the cause of death was established post mortem based on autopsy findings, microscopic examination, measurement of serum procalcitonin concentration (113 ng/ml), and outcome of postmortem bacteriologic cultures that grew in heart and spleen blood samples. Since the introduction of as a new group in the family in 1983, more recent case studies have established its clinical significance and pathogenic potential to cause severe, life-threatening bacteremia and sepsis. is a rare pathogen that should be added to the list of unusual bacteria causing Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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