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January 1974

Chronic Meningococcemia in Childhood: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

Cambridge, Mass; Minneapolis; Southboro, Mass
From the US Army Hospital, Fort Devens, Mass. Dr. Leibel is now with the Department of Pediatrics, Cambridge (Mass) Hospital; Dr. Fangman is now with the Family Practice Program, North Memorial Hospital, Minneapolis; and Dr. Ostrovsky is in private pediatric practice in Southboro, Mass.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(1):94-98. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110200096014

Chronic meningococcemia occurred in a 2-year-old boy. As in adults, the clinical constellation in childhood include a prolonged period of variable rash, fever, and arthritis accompanied by surprisingly little systemic toxicity. Because of its rarity and nonspecific symptomatology, this entity is frequently mistaken for a wide range of other infectious diseases, vasculitides, and collagenoses. Thus, the positive blood culture remains the diagnostic sine qua non. Although the pathophysiology of this peculiar host-bacterial interaction has not been elucidated, it may prove fruitful to consider the clinical features as results of immune-complex deposition rather than direct bacterial invasion.

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