Legionnaire's disease associated with acute encephalitis and arrhythmia

Crit Care Med. 2002 May;30(5):1028-9. doi: 10.1097/00003246-200205000-00012.


Objective: To report an unusual, life-threatening combination of neurologic, cardiac, and gastrointestinal symptoms in the presence of a community-acquired pneumonia.

Design: Case report.

Setting: University hospital.

Patient: Previously healthy young male.

Intervention: Diagnostic fiberoptic bronchoscopy, lumber puncture, magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, and institution of systemic antibiotics.

Main result: Gradual clinical improvement of a multiple-system illness.

Conclusion: Legionellosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with neurologic, cardiac, and gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly in the presence of radiographic pneumonia. Furthermore, Legionella meningoencephalitis may present with findings on magnetic resonance imaging previously thought to be characteristic of herpes encephalitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Encephalitis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Legionnaires' Disease / complications*
  • Male