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December 9, 1974

Haemophilus influenzae Pericarditis and Empyema With Thyroiditis in an Adult

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Medical Center, and Denver Veterans Administration Hospital, Denver. Dr. Alsever is now at the Southern Colorado Clinic, Pueblo; Dr. Stiver is now at the Department of Medicine, St. Boniface General Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Dr. Dahl is now at the Naval Regional Medical Center, Oakland, Calif.

JAMA. 1974;230(10):1426-1427. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240100044026

A 26-year-old woman had acute thyroiditis. Forty-eight hours later, pericardial tamponade and empyema developed requiring surgical intervention. Haemophilus influenzae type B was recovered from blood and pleural and pericardial fluid. Treatment with chloramphenicol, and later, ampicillin sodium resulted in recovery. Challenge with H influenzae antigen six months later was followed by a brisk rise in bactericidal antibody, suggesting the patient was nonimmune. Because of the apparently increasing number of such nonimmune adults, H influenzae must be considered as a cause of similar life-threatening infections in this age group.

(JAMA 230:1426-1427, 1974)