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01.12.2016 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2016

Campylobacter jejuni-associated perimyocarditis: two case reports and review of the literature

BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2016
Fredrik Hessulf, Johan Ljungberg, Per-Anders Johansson, Mats Lindgren, Johan Engdahl



Campylobacter spp. are among the most common bacterial causes of gastroenteritis world-wide and mostly follow a benign course. We report two cases of Campylobacter jejuni-associated perimyocarditis, the first two simultaneous cases published to date and the third and fourth cases over all in Sweden, and a review of the literature.

Case presentation

A previously healthy 24-yo male (A) presented at the Emergency Department(ED) with recent onset of chest pain and a 3-day history of abdominal pain, fever and diarrhoea. The symptoms began within a few hours of returning from a tourist visit to a central European capital. Vital signs were stable, the Electrocardiogram(ECG) showed generalized ST-elevation, laboratory testing showed increased levels of C-reactive protein(CRP) and high-sensitive Troponin T(hsTnT). Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) was normal, stool cultures were positive for C Jejuni and blood cultures were negative. Two days after patient A was admitted to the ED his travel companion (B), also a previously healthy male (23-yo), presented at the same ED with almost identical symptoms: chest pain precipitated by a few days of abdominal pain, fever and diarrhoea. Patient B declared that he and patient A had ingested chicken prior to returning from their tourist trip. Laboratory tests showed elevated CRP and hsTnT but the ECG and TTE were normal. In both cases, the diagnosis of C jejuni-associated perimyocarditis was set based on the typical presentation and positive stool cultures with identical strains. Both patients were given antibiotics, rapidly improved and were fully recovered at 6-week follow up.


Perimyocarditis is a rare complication of C jejuni infections but should not be overlooked considering the risk of heart failure. With treatment, the prognosis of full recovery is good but several questions remain to be answered regarding the pathophysiology and the male preponderance of the condition.
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