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October 1965

The Liver Lesion in Q Fever: Clinical and Pathologic Features

Author Affiliations


From the departments of medicine and pathology, School of Medicine, University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Hospital. Head Physician Internal Medicine, Los Angeles County Hospital (Dr. Bernstein); Professor of Pathology (Dr. Edmondson) and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dr. Barbour), School of Medicine, University of Southern California.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(4):491-498. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870040005003

WE HAVE STUDIED two patients with a febrile illness whose clinical features resembled those of a primary disorder of the liver. One had frank jaundice; both had splenomegaly. We believe a report of these cases will be of general interest because each patient had serologic evidence of Q fever and each had a characteristic alteration of liver histology. In reviewing the literature on hepatic involvement in Q fever, we noted that reports by Gerstl et al,1 Picchi et al,2 Powell,3 and Gallaher4 mention lesions of the liver similar to those observed in our two patients. Of clinical interest is the observation that some patients with Q fever have symptoms and findings referable to the liver without any discernible disease of the lungs.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —A 41-year-old white woman was admitted to the Los Angeles County Hospital on Feb 2, 1960, because of fever and jaundice. In the