Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Rare disease
Shock following a cat scratch
  1. Umpei Yamamoto1,
  2. Mutsumi Kunita2,
  3. Masahiro Mohri1
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Kyushu Kosei-Nenkin Hospital, Kitakyushu, Japan
  2. 2Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Science, Fukuoka, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Umpei Yamamoto, umpei{at}


A 49-year-old man with fever, pain in both legs, purpuras and cyanosis was admitted to hospital. He was a heavy drinker, but did not have diabetes or other immunosuppressive disease. On admission, he was in shock, with haematological findings suggestive of disseminated intravascular coagulation, and liver and kidney failure. The presence of a scratch wound on his face caused by a cat, and linear, Gram-negative rods phagocytosed by polynuclear leucocytes on peripheral blood smear suggested Capnocytophaga canimorsus infection. On day 1, antibiotics (ampicillin/sulbactam) and catecholamines were initiated. The patient required haemodialysis three times per week for 3 weeks. His toes became necrotic but improved and amputation was not necessary. On day 52, he was discharged from hospital with only mild sensory impairment of the legs.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.