This study is a retrospective analysis of seven patients with hypoechogenic lesions in the liver and/or spleen due to Bartonella henselae, who were followed from 1998 through to 2005 by the Department of Pediatrics, Turin University. In addition to showing constitutional symptoms, four children had skin lesions suggestive of injuries inflicted by cats, and one child had a history of exposure to cats. The origin of the infection remained undefined in the other two patients. Humoral tests enabled a precise diagnosis in all children. Treatment with macrolides or combinations of two active antibiotics for at least 2–3 weeks led to the definitive clearance of infection, although residual intraparenchymal lesions persisted in five patients for several months or years.
Conclusion B. henselae serology allows an easy diagnosis of multiple hepatosplenic granulomata, a clinical picture that appears to be under-recognized. Macrolides or a combination of two active antibiotics for 2–3 weeks leads to a rapid clinical response and a definitive clearance of infection.
Cat-scratch disease Children Fever of unknown origin Hepatosplenic granuloma