Which clinical history findings are characteristic of mycobacterium chelonae infection?

Updated: Dec 20, 2018
  • Author: Alfred Scott Lea, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Patients with Mycobacterium chelonae skin involvement may have a chronic, nonhealing cellulitis or skin ulcer that is slow to spread. Areas of cellulitis associated with the infection are frequently hyperpigmented. Skin nodules, sinus tract, and abscess formation may be present. Sinus tracts and abscesses may drain and appear to resolve, only to recur days to weeks later during the first months of treatment.

Patients with M chelonae lung disease may have a chronic cough, sputum production, or progressive dyspnea.

Easy fatigability, fever, night sweats, and weight loss occur with pulmonary or disseminated disease, although less commonly than with tuberculosis.

Infections associated with surgical procedures may present as wound infections, draining fistulae/sinus tracts, or inflamed and/or dysfunctional prosthetic devices. [17, 18]

Bacteremia is associated fever, with or without chills, in immunocompromised patients with intravascular catheters, hemodialysis catheters, peritoneal dialysis catheters, biliary stents, and prosthetic heart valves. [18]

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