Chronic cough associated with subacute bacterial endocarditis

Mayo Clin Proc. 1995 Jul;70(7):662-4. doi: 10.4065/70.7.662.


Although the literature on subacute bacterial endocarditis from both the preantibiotic and antibiotic eras mentions cough as a symptom, neither bacteremia nor endocarditis is listed in reviews on chronic cough. Herein we describe a 74-year-old man who underwent an extensive workup as an outpatient because of chronic cough of 7 months' duration. Chest roentgenography, chest and sinus computed tomography, fiberoptic bronchoscopy, gallium scan, transthoracic echocardiography, and other studies revealed no apparent cause for his nonproductive cough. Because of a persistently increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate and associated weight loss, blood cultures were obtained, all of which grew Streptococcus constellatus. A transesophageal echocardiogram revealed mitral valve vegetation. After antibiotic therapy was administered, the patient's cough completely resolved. He has experienced no coughing for more than 14 months. Bacteremia in conjunction with endocarditis should be added to the list of uncommon causes of chronic cough. The mechanism of cough is unknown.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / etiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endocarditis, Subacute Bacterial / complications
  • Endocarditis, Subacute Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male