Cat-scratch disease

Case contributed by Dr Balint Botz


Palpable, rapidly appearing painful mass in the region of the left elbow. Subfebrile upon presentation. Cat owner.

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Male

Soft-tissue swelling with circumscribed nodular lesions (see rewindowed image) in the area corresponding to the location of the epitrochlear lymph nodes. 

No bony abnormality. 


An enlarged superficial lymph node with thickened cortex is visible corresponding to the palpable mass. The lymph node shows marked hypervascularity. A similar but smaller additional lymph node is visible in its proximity. Altogether findings are suggestive of reactive lymph node enlargement most likely due to infection. 


Both lymph nodes show vivid enhancement, and adjacent soft tissue stranding.

No bony abnormality. 

Case Discussion

The patient tested positive for Bartonella henselae, the causative bacterium of cat-scratch disease (bartonellosis). Antibiotic therapy resulted in rapid recovery. 

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Case information

rID: 77817
Published: 22nd May 2020
Last edited: 14th Jan 2021
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: University of Pécs

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