[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 12, 1982

Well-Tolerated Bacteremia of Five Years' Duration

JAMA. 1982;248(18):2310-2311. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330180070039

AFTER the introduction of organisms into the bloodstream from a focus of infection, bacteremia generally persists for a period of seconds to minutes, with the clearance of organisms by serum bactericidal factors in concert with fixed and circulating phagocytic cells. In endothelial infections, bacteremia is of much longer duration. In this report, we describe a patient who experienced at least five years of persistent Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteremia 15 years after complete repair of a tetralogy of Fallot. This case is unique both because of the duration of bacteremia and the eventual successful cure of the infection with a combination of antibiotics without surgical intervention.

Report of a Case  A 39-year-old man, cyanotic from birth and with limited exercise tolerance during childhood, underwent cardiac catheterization at age 13 years that demonstrated a high ventricular septal defect (VSD) and a pulmonary outflow tract gradient of 85 mm Hg. Pulmonary valvulotomy was performed