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September 1993

Granulomatous Hepatitis in Three Children due to Cat-scratch Disease Without Peripheral Adenopathy: An Unrecognized Cause of Fever of Unknown Origin

Author Affiliations

From the Section of General Pediatrics, Division of Diagnostic Referral Service, St Christopher's Hospital for Children, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa (Dr Malatack), and the Department of Pathology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (Pa), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Dr Jaffe).

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(9):949-953. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160330039014

• Objective.  —To report the clinical experience of three patients with fever of unknown origin ultimately diagnosed as having cat-scratch granulomatous hepatitis in the absence of peripheral adenopathy.

Design.  —Case-control study.

Setting.  —Referral center at university-based referral practice.

Patients.  —Three children with fever of unknown origin. Follow-up following presentation was 6 months for each patient.

Measurement and Results.  —All three patients with fever of unknown origin were diagnosed radiographically to have multiple hepatic defects. The defects were shown histologically to be granulomatous. Two of the three patients had Warthin-Starry staining bacilli in the granulomas consistent with a diagnosis of Afipia felis. All three had positive cat-scratch skin test results.

Conclusions.  —Cat-scratch disease in the absence of peripheral adenopathy is a heretofore unrecognized cause of fever of undetermined origin and may account for a small, but significant, percentage of children presenting with it.(AJDC. 1993;147:949-953)