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Open Access Case report

Q fever endocarditis masquerading as Mixed cryoglobulinemia type II. A case report and review of the literature

Petros I Rafailidis, Spiros P Dourakis* and Christos A Fourlas

Author Affiliations

Second Academic Department of Internal Medicine of the University of Athens, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens, Greece

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-32

Published: 23 February 2006

Abstract

Background

The clinical manifestations of Q fever endocarditis are protean in nature. Mixed cryoglobulinemia type II is rarely a facet of the presenting clinical manifestations of Q fever endocarditis.

Case presentation

We report a case of a 65-year-old pensioner with such an association and review the literature. As transesophageal echocardiograms are usually normal and blood cultures are usually negative in Q fever endocarditis, many of the manifestations (fever, rash, glomerulonephritis/evidence of renal disease, low serum C4 complement component, presence of mixed type II cryoglobulin, constitutional symptoms as arthralgias and fatigue) can be attributed to Mixed cryoglobulinemia type II per se. The use of Classic Duke Endocarditis Service criteria does not always suffice for the diagnosis of Q fever.

Conclusion

The application of the modified criteria proposed by Fournier et al for the improvement of the diagnosis of Q fever endocarditis will help to reach the diagnosis earlier and thus reduce the high mortality of the disease. We would like to stress the importance of ruling out the diagnosis of Q fever endocarditis in cases of mixed type II cryoglobulinemia.