A 43-year-old man with a cardiac device for dilated cardiomyopathy presented with fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Investigations revealed pancytopenia, acute renal failure, abnormal lung function, and raised inflammatory markers. A renal biopsy demonstrated pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis. He was diagnosed with pulmonary-renal antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-negative systemic small vessel vasculitis. He commenced immunosuppression with prednisolone and cyclophosphamide with recovery from pancytopenia and improvement in renal function 3 months later. Subsequently, a bone marrow culture grew Mycobacterium fortuitum. Isolation on repeat peripheral mycobacterial blood cultures prompted treatment with ciprofloxacin and clarithromycin. Four months later, he presented with neutropenic sepsis, influenza A/H1N1, and Aspergillus flavus pneumonia. Despite treatment he deteriorated. A transthoracic echocardiogram revealed a vegetation on the right ventricular pacing wire. The device was removed. The vegetation revealed acid and alcohol fast bacilli on Ziehl-Neelsen staining and grew M. fortuitum on culture, sensitive to ciprofloxacin and clarithromycin. Despite device removal and antimicrobial therapy, the patient succumbed to treatment-related complications. The association between glomerulonephritis and endocarditis is well known; however, this is the first case to our knowledge describing pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis in the context of M. fortuitum endocarditis. Clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for endocarditis in patients with a cardiac device who present with fever and pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis. Patients should be investigated with mycobacterial blood cultures, at least three sets of standard blood cultures and transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography. Clinicians should beware the perils of immunosuppression in the face of an occult sepsis.
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