Corynebacterium species isolated in blood cultures are commonly dismissed as a contaminant. They are also recognized as an uncommon pathogen in infective endocarditis. We report two cases of native valve endocarditis due to Corynebacterium striatum. The first patient, a 36-year-old female with hemolytic anemia, whose risk factor for endocarditis was a Port-a-Cath (Smiths Medical, Los Angeles, California) used for routine blood transfusions. She was diagnosed with triple valve endocarditis via transthoracic echocardiogram. Her multiple comorbidities made her a poor surgical candidate for valve replacement and she elected to go on hospice care after antibiotic treatment completion. The second patient, a 46-year-old, was found to have coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia in addition to persistent Corynebacterium striatum bacteremia. A transthoracic echocardiogram was highly suggestive of aortic valve endocarditis. A confirmatory transesophageal echocardiogram was unable to be obtained given his clinical instability and COVID-19 status. Unfortunately, this patient expired due to complications of severe COVID-19 pneumonia. We highlight the need for prompt recognition of risk factors of infective endocarditis due to uncommon pathogens that may aid in the diagnosis and treatment, while utilizing a multidisciplinary approach.
The aim of this case series is to emphasize the importance of Corynebacterium species as a cause of native valve infectious endocarditis and to illustrate the challenges it poses in diagnosis and management.
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Published online: May 24, 2022
Accepted: April 22, 2022
Received in revised form: March 23, 2022
Received: December 11, 2021
© 2022 Japanese College of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.