Which clinical history findings are characteristic of pneumococcal cardiac infection?

Updated: Jun 08, 2020
  • Author: Eduardo Sanchez, MD; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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In the antibiotic era, pneumococcal cardiac infections are rare.

Endocarditis: Involvement of native aortic and mitral valves are most common; infection can lead to valve destruction, heart failure, and embolization. Presenting signs and symptoms are typical of those seen in other causes of endocarditis and include fever, new or changing murmurs, muscle and/or joint pains, sweating, fatigue, anorexia, and skin findings. In alcoholics, may be part of the triad of endocarditis, pneumonia, and meningitis.

Pericarditis: Prior to the widespread use of antibiotics, S pneumoniae infection was the most common cause of purulent pericarditis in children; now, infection in childhood is extremely rare, and nearly all cases of pneumococcal pericarditis occur in adults. Symptoms, signs, and examination findings may include chest and/or pleuritic pain; radiating pain to the neck, abdomen, shoulder, or back; orthopnea; dry cough; extremity swelling; anxiety; fatigue; fever; pericardial rub; and muffled heart sounds.

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