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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 801328, 4 pages
Case Report

A Young Man Presenting with Pleuritic Chest Pain and Fever after Electrophysiological Study and Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Placement: Diagnostic Difficulties and Value of Bedside Thoracic Sonography

Department of Internal Medicine, “San Giovanni di Dio” Hospital, Via di Torregalli 3, 50143 Florence, Italy

Received 11 August 2015; Revised 29 September 2015; Accepted 11 October 2015

Academic Editor: Michael S. Firstenberg

Copyright © 2015 Antonio Faraone and Alberto Fortini. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We describe the case of a 23-year-old man presenting with recurrent pleuritic chest pain and prolonged fever after electrophysiology testing and placement of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator because of a suspected arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. The clinical suspicion was initially directed toward pneumonia with pleural effusion and later toward an infection of the cardiac device complicated by septic pulmonary embolism. The definitive diagnosis of pulmonary embolism and infarction was suggested by a point-of-care thoracic sonography, performed at the bedside by a clinician caring for the patient, and then confirmed by contrast enhanced computed tomography, which also showed thrombosis of the left iliofemoral vein, site of percutaneous puncture for cardiac catheterization. Prolonged fever was attributable to a concomitant Epstein-Barr virus primary infection that acted as confounding factor. The present report confirms the value of bedside thoracic sonography in the diagnostic evaluation of patients with nonspecific respiratory symptoms.