Scratching past lymphadenopathy: A case of bartonella henselae encephalitis

Lorraine James, Najiba Keshwani, Darrah Haffner, Yorgo Zahlanie, Sailaja Golla, Ladan Agharokh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A previously healthy 6-year-old boy presented with new onset seizure activity and altered mental status. His prehospital course included prolonged fever, vague abdominal complaints, and unusual behavior. Neurological testing was unrevealing, and his symptoms slowly improved without intervention. His primary pediatrician had ordered serum antibody titers to Bartonella henselae for testing of prolonged fever in the setting of exposure to a kitten; these were found to be positive for both immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M. Further examination for organ involvement revealed splenic and liver micro-abscesses. After completion of his antibiotic course, the patient returned to his cognitive and neurologic baseline with resolution of his abdominal abscesses. This case emphasizes the importance of obtaining a thorough exposure history when evaluating for infectious causes of encephalitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-362
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric annals
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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