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Vasculitis masquerading as aortic valve endocarditis
  1. M B Iqbal,
  2. N G Fisher,
  3. K M Fox
  1. Department of Cardiology, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr M Bilal Iqbal
    Department of Cardiology, Level 3, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London SW3 6NP, UK; biqbalexcite.com

Abstract

Small vessel vasculitis and endocarditis can both present with multisystem involvement and may present a diagnostic dilemma. Renal and cardiac involvement is common in small vessel vasculitis and rarely small vessel vasculitis may cause heart block. When a patient presents with diffuse symptoms, deteriorating renal function, and heart block, endocarditis and vasculitis should be included in the differential diagnosis. The case is discussed of a man with a history of aortic valve endocarditis who presented again with similar symptoms, deteriorating renal function, and heart block. There was no evidence of aortic valve endocarditis with abscess formation. A renal biopsy confirmed small vessel vasculitis and the patient responded promptly to immunosuppressive treatment. Correct diagnosis is essential in such cases, as immunosuppression in true endocarditis can be catastrophic. In this case, with the correct diagnosis, immunosuppression proved life saving and prevented erroneous aortic valve surgery.

  • TOE, transoesophageal echocardiography
  • endocarditis
  • heart block
  • small vessel vasculitis
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