Primary chest wall abscess caused by Escherichia coli costochondritis

Am J Med Sci. 2011 Sep;342(3):241-6. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31821bc1b0.


Chest wall abscess may occur as primary infection or secondary to open trauma or thoracic wall surgery. The authors describe an unusual case of Escherichia coli costochondritis occurring 2 months after a blunt chest wall trauma. Primary chest wall abscess due to E coli costochondritis has been previously reported only twice occurring after urinary tract infection. All other very few reports of E coli costochondritis have been reported only after thoracic surgical procedures. An English literature review of primary chest wall abscess showed that 4 pathogens are responsible for the majority of cases: Actinomyces, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Salmonella. C albicans costochondritis was most commonly reported among heroin addicts. The appearance of a growing chest wall mass should always prompt a search for an infectious cause, even with little or no systemic signs and symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnosis*
  • Abscess / microbiology
  • Abscess / pathology
  • Aged
  • Escherichia coli Infections / diagnosis*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Thoracic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Thoracic Diseases / microbiology
  • Thoracic Diseases / pathology
  • Thoracic Wall* / microbiology
  • Thoracic Wall* / pathology
  • Tietze's Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Tietze's Syndrome / microbiology
  • Tietze's Syndrome / pathology