Septic pulmonary embolism – Case report


SPE is a rare syndrome, although a frequent clinical presentation of several disorders, many times misdiagnosed in medical practice. It was described 30 years ago, almost always associated with intravenous drug abuse. Recent reports indicate that the epidemiology of patients with septic pulmonary embolism has changed over the past 30 years. We report a case of septic pulmonary embolism associated with tricuspid valve endocarditis. The patient had a personal history of intravenous drug abuse. The chief complaints were fever, anorexia and weight loss for 30 days. A chest radiograph revealed multiple pulmonary infiltrates in the lower third of the right lung. Antimicrobial agents were instituted in order to treat pneumonia, with no success. Blood cultures were positive for methicilin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus. Transthoracic ecocardiography revealed a vegetation in the tricuspid valve. Oriented antimicrobial therapy was introduced, successfully. We have reviewed the literature, suggesting thereafter diagnostic criteria for septic pulmonary embolism.

Luís Coentrão, Jorge Oliveira, Doutor Paulo Bettencourt