Journal Article

Life-Threatening <i>Mycoplasma hominis</i> Mediastinitis

Petri S. Mattila, Petteri Carlson, Aulikki Sivonen, Jukka Savola, Rauno Luosto, Jarmo Salo and Matti Valtonen

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 6, pages 1529-1537
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Life-Threatening Mycoplasma hominis Mediastinitis

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Mycoplasma hominis infections are easily missed because conventional methods for bacterial detection may fail. Here, 8 cases of septic mediastinitis due to M. hominis are reported and reviewed in the context of previously reported cases of mediastinitis, sternum wound infection, pleuritis, or pericarditis caused by M. hominis. All 8 patients had a predisposing initial condition related to poor cardiorespiratory function, aspiration, or complications related to coronary artery surgery or other thoracic surgeries. Mediastinitis was associated with purulent pleural effusion and acute septic symptoms requiring inotropic medication and ventilatory support. Later, the patients had a tendency for indolent chronic courses with pleuritis, pericarditis, or open sternal wounds that lasted for several months. M. hominis infections may also present as mild sternum wound infection or as chronic local pericarditis or pleuritis without septic mediastinitis. Treatment includes surgical drainage and debridement. Anti-biotics effective against M. hominis should be considered when treating mediastinitis of unknown etiology.

Journal Article.  4000 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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