Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Associated With Cardiac Arrhythmias
LewisGale Medical Center
heart block, life threatening arrhythmia, rickettsia, rocky mountain spotted fever, tick-borne infections
Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Internal Medicine
Rickettsial infection, known as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, is a challenging diagnosis as early clinical manifestations are difficult to distinguish from viral illnesses. Symptoms at presentation depend on the organs involved, ranging from a skin rash as evidence of vascular damage to prerenal azotemia, respiratory failure, hepatic injury, or encephalitis. We report an unusual case of an otherwise healthy 83-year-old female whose serologies tested positive for Rickettsia rickettsii, which led to cardiac dysrhythmia, i.e., the new onset of atrial fibrillation associated with conversion pauses. The patient was treated with antibiotics and ultimately underwent permanent pacemaker placement with resolution. This case highlights cardiac dysrhythmia as a late and severe manifestation in patients diagnosed with rickettsial illness.
Publisher or Conference
Syed Z, Scott C, Nguyen B, Phyu E. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Associated With Cardiac Arrhythmias. Cureus. 2023;15(7):e42288. doi:10.7759/cureus.42288