Nontuberculous Mycobacterium infection complicated with Haemophagocytic syndrome: A case report and literature review

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Abstract

Background: Non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infection is usually observed in patients with immunosuppressive conditions. It may also cause unregulated immune responses. While there have been increasing numbers of reported tuberculosis-related HPS (haemophagocytic syndrome), HPS caused by NTM infection is still very rarely reported. Case presentation: We report a previously healthy 21-year-old Chinese female with fever, night sweats and fatigue, in whom HPS was diagnosed according to the HLH-2004 criteria. Mycobacterium intracellulare was cultured from her peripheral blood. After treatment with corticosteroid, clarithromycin, rifampicin, ethambutol and amikacin, the patient finally recovered. We also reviewed relevant publications on NTM infection complicated with HPS and found 11 cases, including ours. Clinical presentations, diagnoses and prognoses were analysed and summarized to deepen our understanding of this rare condition. Conclusions: Most reported NTM-related cases were caused by disseminated infection. The lack of localized symptoms might add to the difficulty involved in making the right diagnosis. While it usually takes time to obtain tissue or blood culture results, granuloma in a bone marrow biopsy might be an early indicator of possible mycobacterial infection. Although treatment varied, the overall prognosis of NTM-related HPS was promising.

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Shi, W., & Jiao, Y. (2019). Nontuberculous Mycobacterium infection complicated with Haemophagocytic syndrome: A case report and literature review. BMC Infectious Diseases, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-019-4061-9

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