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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 13, Issue 4, Pages 215-218
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2006/495720
Case Report

Suppurative Mediastinitis Secondary to Burkholderia Cepacia in a Patient with Cystic Fibrosis

Ronald B George,1 Yannick Cartier,2 Alan G Casson,3 and Paul Hernandez4

1Department of Anesthesia, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
2Department of Radiology, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
3Division of Thoracic and Esophageal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
4Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.

Abstract

Burkholderia cepacia is an important opportunistic pathogen among patients with cystic fibrosis (CF); it is associated with deterioration of lung function, poor outcome following lung transplantation and increased mortality. Fever, an elevated white blood cell count, weight loss and an often fatal deterioration in pulmonary function characterize a particular clinical course, termed ‘Cepacia syndrome’. The present case report describes a 40-year-old man with CF who developed Cepacia syndrome complicated by suppurative mediastinitis, from which B cepacia was isolated. Despite optimal medical and surgical therapy, this patient succumbed to his illness. Those caring for patients with CF should be aware of this potentially catastrophic complication of B cepacia infection, especially in the setting of Cepacia syndrome.