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Acute perimyocarditis associated with Bartonella henselae infection
  1. David GJ Cucchi1,
  2. Annebel Govers1,
  3. Frank H Janse2 and
  4. Bas M van Dalen2,3
  1. 1Internal Medicine, Franciscus Gasthuis en Vlietland, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
  2. 2Cardiology, Franciscus Gasthuis en Vlietland, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
  3. 3Cardiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr David GJ Cucchi; d.cucchi{at}


Perimyocarditis involves inflammation of the heart muscle and surrounding tissue, causing reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Typically viral, but occasionally bacterial, this condition can arise from Bartonella henselae, a rare yet potentially serious pathogen that can lead to cardiac inflammation and subsequent heart failure. Since this bacterium is mainly associated with cat scratch disease—which is self-limiting and has a mild disease course—B. henselae’s potential role in cardiac disease is underestimated. We present a mid-30s man, immunocompetent, who presented to the emergency department with acute heart failure due to B. henselae-associated perimyocarditis. Despite not recalling any scratches or bites from cats, the patient had been living with cats, which likely exposed him. This case highlights the varied clinical presentations of B. henselae-associated heart disease and underscores the importance of considering this pathogen as a potential cause of perimyocarditis, particularly in individuals with exposure to cats.

  • Heart failure
  • Infectious diseases

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  • Contributors The following authors were responsible for drafting of the text, sourcing and editing of clinical images, investigation results, drawing original diagrams and algorithms, and critical revision for important intellectual content: DGJC, AG, FHJ, BMvD. The following authors gave final approval of the manuscript: DGJC, AG, FHJ, BMvD.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.