Bacterial Pericarditis and Tamponade Due to Nonencapsulated Haemophilus influenzae Complicating a Case of Adult Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Praveen Garg, MD; Ruchi Gupta, MD; James E. Szalados, MD, JD, MBA, FCCP

Disclosures

December 07, 2006

Abstract

We report a case of bacterial pericarditis in an immunologically competent adult female caused by nonencapsulated Haemophilus influenzae (H influenzae) that was complicated by the acute development of life-threatening pericardial tamponade.

H influenzae is a gram-negative coccobacillus, a pathogen most frequently associated with childhood exanthema (otitis media, meningitis) and, less frequently, adult pneumonia. Encapsulated, type b, or typable H influenzae is the strain implicated in childhood infections. On the other hand, nonencapsulated or nontypable H influenzae is the specific strain most often associated with exacerbation of chronic obstructive airway disease.

Bacterial pericarditis caused by either subtype of H influenzae is exceedingly rare. We have located only 15 previously reported cases of H influenzae pericarditis occurring in adults in the world medical literature, the majority of which date back to the pre-antibiotic era. In 12 of these 15 cases (the only cases in which typing could be accomplished), the encapsulated strain of H influenzae was cultured from the pericardial fluid.

Thus, to the best of our knowledge, we are reporting here the first case of bacterial pericarditis caused by nonencapsulated H influenzae in an immunologically competent adult.

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE
Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as:

processing....