Surg Case Rep. 2015 Dec;1(1):83. doi: 10.1186/s40792-015-0085-6. Epub 2015 Sep 16.

Infected abdominal aortic aneurysm caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae diagnosed using polymerase chain reaction.

Hatori K1, Ohki S2, Miki T2, Hirai H2, Yasuhara K2, Obayashi T2.

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We report the case of a 55-year-old man who initially visited the emergency department of our hospital owing to fever, headache, and neck stiffness. He was diagnosed with meningitis because cerebrospinal fluid culture was positive for Streptococcus pneumoniae. After intravenous antibiotic treatment, the patient's condition returned to normal. On hospital day 20, he complained of lumbar pain with abdominal distension. Because an abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan showed a small sacciform infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm, an infected aneurysm was suspected. However, cerebrospinal fluid and blood cultures were negative for S. pneumoniae. Seven days later, a second abdominal CT was performed that showed rapid expansion of the sacciform infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm. The patient was diagnosed with an infected abdominal aortic aneurysm and underwent surgery for resection of the aneurysm and in situ reconstruction with a rifampicin-soaked vascular prosthesis. Although blood and aneurysmal tissue cultures were negative for S. pneumoniae, the autolysin (lytA) gene, which is the target gene of S. pneumoniae, was detected in the abdominal aortic wall by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Therefore, appropriate molecular diagnostic techniques can be used for the rapid detection of pathogens. An accurate diagnosis can be used to direct postoperative antibiotic therapy.


Infected abdominal aortic aneurysm; Polymerase chain reaction; Rifampicin-soaked vascular prosthesis; Streptococcus pneumoniae

PMID: 26943412 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4572041