A case of mediastinal abscess and infected aortic aneurysm caused by dissemination of Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. massiliense pulmonary disease

Published:September 28, 2022DOI:


      An 81-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because of fever and malaise that had persisted for 3 months. The patient had undergone two aortic valve replacements, 10 and 5 years previously, because of aortic valve regurgitation and infectious endocarditis. He also had had asymptomatic Mycobacterium abscessus complex (MABC) pulmonary disease for the two previous years. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography showed a mediastinal abscess and an ascending aortic aneurysm. Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. massiliense was cultured from his blood, suggesting the aortic aneurysm was secondary to infection of an implanted device. After enlargement over only a few days, a leakage of contrast medium to the mediastinal abscess was found on computed tomography. The patient was diagnosed with rupture of an infectious aortic aneurysm, and emergency aortic replacement and drainage of the mediastinal abscess were successful. The patient was treated with several antibiotics, including meropenem, amikacin, and clarithromycin, and his general condition improved. Cultures from both the mediastinal abscess and a pericardial patch that was placed at the time of surgery 5 years previously revealed MABC. In our case, the infected aortic aneurysm most likely resulted from MABC pulmonary disease rather than from previous intraoperative contamination. This route of infection is rare. Physicians should be aware of the possibility of dissemination and subsequent infection of implants related to MABC pulmonary disease.



      CT (computed tomography), HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), IFN (interferon), IgA (immunoglobulin A), IgG (immunoglobulin G), IgM (immunoglobulin M), MABC (Mycobacterium abscessus complex), nAIGAs (neutralizing anti-interferon-γ autoantibodies), NTM (nontuberculosis mycobacteria), RGM (rapidly growing mycobacterium)
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