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December 1965

Supravalvular Aortotomy Infection: Caused by Listeria Monocytogenes, Masquerading as Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis

Author Affiliations


From the departments of medicine, surgery, and clinical pathology, Good Samaritan Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(6):937-939. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870060135027

SUBACUTE infections of a supravalvular aortotomy site are rare and unexpected; such an event, occurring long after surgery and caused by Listeria monocytogenes, has never been reported.

The following is a case of such a subacute infection occurring in the suture material one and one-half years following an aortotomy performed to relieve a congenital aortic stenosis. The presenting symptoms of this case were those of subarachnoid hemorrhage, with later findings completely consistent with a diagnosis of embolic subacute bacterial endocarditis. Technically, however, the infection was not an endocarditis, but rather a subacute infection of the wall of the aorta.

Report of a Case 

First Admission.  —The patient was an 18-year-old white youth with known congenital aortic stenosis which was repaired one and one-half years prior to his admission to the Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, NY. The repair was performed by an aortic valvulotomy; the valve was reached through an opening