Superior Vena Cava Endocarditis in a Patient with Anterior Chest Wall Tunneled Catheter for Hemodialysis

Fatai Oluyadi, Pramod Theetha Kariyanna, Apoorva Jayarangaiah, Ezra Schrem, Ayesha Anwar, Moro O Salifu, Samy I McFarlane
American Journal of Medical Case Reports 2020, 8 (9): 321-324

Background: Healthcare related bacterial endocarditis represents a significant portion of endocarditis seen today. Suspicion for these infections should be particularly high in patients with chronic indwelling central venous catheters, and most notably, in patients with hemodialysis catheters. These infections may have a predilection for the superior vena cava due to proximity of the catheters to the great veins of the neck. Transthoracic echocardiography and/or trans-esophageal echocardiography should be done promptly in patients in which there a high suspicion for such infections, in order to identify these lesions, and guide appropriate management with either antibiotics or surgical intervention.

Case presentation: We present a 59-year-old female with multiple comorbidities including diabetes mellitus and end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis via an anterior chest wall catheter, who presented with fever, chills, and abdominal pain. She was found to have pus in and around her catheter. Further evaluation with trans-esophageal echocardiography revealed the presence of a superior vena cava vegetation extending into the right atrium. She received a 6 week course of appropriate antibiotics with repeat trans-esophageal echocardiography showing a significant reduction in the size of the vegetation. Patient remained afebrile, and without leukocytosis and negative blood cultures for the remainder of her hospital stay.

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