Tropheryma whippelii as a cause of afebrile culture-negative endocarditis: the evolving spectrum of Whipple's disease
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With the advent of molecular diagnostics culture-negative endocarditis caused by the organism Tropheryma whippelii is an increasingly described entity. We describe two patients with afebrile, culture-negative endocarditis caused by T. whippelii who had neither the gastrointestinal nor arthritic manifestations of Whipple's disease. Whipple's disease is a systemic illness caused by the organism Tropheryma whippelii and is typically characterized by diarrhea, weight loss, and arthropathy [Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2001;14:561-583; Medicine (Baltimore) 1997;76:170-184]. Whipple's endocarditis is relatively common in autopsy studies [Can. J. Cardiol. 1996;12:831-834] but has rarely been diagnosed before death. With the advent of molecular diagnostic tools such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Tropheryma whippelii as a cause of culture-negative endocarditis has become increasingly recognized [Clin. Infect. Dis. 2001;33:1309-1316; Ann. Intern. Med. 1999;131:112-116; Infection 2001;29:44-47; Ann. Intern. Med. 2000;132:595]. With this increased recognition has come the realization that Whipple's endocarditis can occur without other common manifestations of Whipple's disease [Ann. Intern. Med. 1999;131:112-116; Infection 2001;29:44-47; Ann. Intern. Med. 2000;132:595]. We report here two cases of Whipple's endocarditis without discrete febrile illness, gastrointestinal manifestations, or arthritic manifestations, diagnosed by PCR of resected valvular material.
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