Localizing chronic Q fever: a challenging query
SourceBMC Infectious Diseases, 13, (2013), pp. 413
Article / Letter to editor
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BMC Infectious Diseases
SubjectN4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation; N4i 2: Invasive mycoses and compromised host; NCEBP 14: Cardiovascular diseases; ONCOL 3: Translational research N4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation
BACKGROUND: Chronic Q fever usually presents as endocarditis or endovascular infection. We investigated whether 18F-FDG PET/CT and echocardiography were able to detect the localization of infection. Also, the utility of the modified Duke criteria was assessed. METHODS: Fifty-two patients, who had an IgG titre of >/= 1024 against C. burnetii phase I >/= 3 months after primary infection or a positive PCR >/= 1 month after primary infection, were retrospectively included. Data on serology, the results of all imaging studies, possible risk factors for developing proven chronic Q fever and clinical outcome were recorded. RESULTS: According to the Dutch consensus on Q fever diagnostics, 18 patients had proven chronic Q fever, 14 probable chronic Q fever, and 20 possible chronic Q fever. Of the patients with proven chronic Q fever, 22% were diagnosed with endocarditis, 17% with an infected vascular prosthesis, and 39% with a mycotic aneurysm. 56% of patients with proven chronic Q fever did not recall an episode of acute Q fever. Ten out of 13 18F-FDG PET/CT-scans in patients with proven chronic Q fever localized the infection. TTE and TEE were helpful in only 6% and 50% of patients, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: If chronic Q fever is diagnosed, 18F-FDG PET/CT is a helpful imaging technique for localization of vascular infections due to chronic Q fever. Patients with proven chronic Q fever were diagnosed significantly more often with mycotic aneurysms than in previous case series. Definite endocarditis due to chronic Q fever was less frequently diagnosed in the current study. Chronic Q fever often occurs in patients without a known episode of acute Q fever, so clinical suspicion should remain high, especially in endemic regions.
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