[Bartonella quintana endocarditis. Aortic localization and mitral valve abscess]

Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss. 1998 Oct;91(10):1271-5.
[Article in French]


Bartonella Quintana is an exceptionally rare cause of endocarditis. The frequency of this condition is increasing and is probably underestimated because of the difficulty in diagnosing. The clinical context is that of socially deprived classes, the agent of transmission of the germ being body lice. The commonest valve affected is the aortic valve. This infection may also give rise to a mitral annulus abscess, as in this particular case. The diagnosis should be suspected in all cases of endocarditis with negative blood cultures in socially deprived patients as special diagnostic methods are required. Bartonellosis serology and drainage of effusions to perform a Gimenez stain to show intra-cellular bacteria and a polymerase chain reaction to sequence the nucleic acids, will give an accurate diagnosis. Similarly, the operative specimens should be sent to a specialised department for the culture of these bacteria (in France, the Marseille Ricketsioses Institute). The treatment of Bartonella endocarditis is very controversial. The usual recommendations are an association of betalactamines and an aminoside for one month and macrolides or tetracyclines. There is lack of consensus about follow-up. It would seem prudent to perform a clinical examination to search for a relapse of the infection and monthly serologies until they return to normal values.

MeSH terms

  • Abscess
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / drug therapy
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / microbiology*
  • Bartonella quintana / isolation & purification
  • Bartonellaceae Infections / drug therapy
  • Bartonellaceae Infections / microbiology*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Color
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / drug therapy
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / microbiology*