Can a bacterial infection damage the heart?

By RCallahan Latest Reply 2011-03-05 23:00:43 -0600
Started 2010-12-21 08:31:40 -0600

My son, 34, was just diagnosed with chronic systolic failure. His MRI shows extensive damage to the left venticle, and his angio shows that his left coronary arteries have at least two spots that are dead.

When he was 18, he contracted neisseria meningitidis, exhibiting as pneumonia, which became meningoccocemia, and was in ICU for a week.

I know that streptococcal infections can cause damage to the valves, and that this bacteria can cause pericarditis and vascular collapse. Could this bacteria have damaged the heart enough to cause this problem?

They're now trying to figure out what to do for him.

3 replies

HeartHawk 2010-12-25 23:38:41 -0600 Report


Yes, there are potentially any number of infectious agents that could have had a direct or indirect hand in what you describe.

There are many forms of "strep" infections and Group A types are implicated in both meningitis and rheumatic fever which can damage the heart. Groups C, D, G, H, and K can also infect the heart.

It's hard to be precise without much more info but your docs may be on the right track if this is the root cause they are investigating or considering.


RCallahan 2011-01-06 15:10:53 -0600 Report

Actually, he had Neisseria meningitidis while on steroid therapy for membranoproliferative glomerulornephritis.

He says the cardiologist isn't concerned with the cause now, only with the treatment.


HeartHawk 2011-03-05 23:00:43 -0600 Report


N. Meningitidis is common in what you describe. At this point the focus should be on treatment after the fact.


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