Resolution of whipple disease-induced pulmonary hypertension following antibiotic therapy

Am J Ther. Sep-Oct 2014;21(5):e143-7. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e3182691cdc.


Whipple disease is a disorder caused by Tropheryma whipplei, a ubiquitous Gram-positive bacillus. In addition to gastrointestinal manifestations, many other systems may be involved in Whipple disease. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare manifestation of Whipple disease, and its clinical course is not well established. We report a case of a 45-year-old woman who presented with typical gastrointestinal manifestations of Whipple disease, which was diagnosed by duodenal biopsy. She was also noted to have elevated pulmonary arterial pressures on transthoracic echocardiography. There was no evidence of left-sided valvular disease, hypertrophy, or dyskinesis, and there was no evidence of endocarditis. The patient was started on intravenous ceftriaxone for 6 weeks and then transitioned to oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for a year. The patient demonstrated clinical improvement, endoscopic and histologic improvement, and also resolution of PH. This is the third reported case of PH that is convincingly secondary to Whipple disease that resolved after appropriate antibiotic therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Whipple Disease / complications*
  • Whipple Disease / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents