Spontaneous bacterial arthritis in a cirrhotic patient

Stephen D.H. Malnick*, Malka Attali, Eran Israeli, Raia Gratz, David Geltner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Septic arthritis is usually of hematogenous origin and is increasingly being reported in elderly patients, who often have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or alcoholism. We report a 62-year-old patient with alcoholic liver disease who presented with Escherichia coli bacteremia and septic arthritis in a previously fractured ankle. There are scarce reports of infectious arthritis in cirrhotic patients, but this is the first report of arthritis after a primary enteric bacteremia. We believe that the patient described here developed E. coli bacteremia as a result of bacterial overgrowth and translocation related to alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis. The resulting bacteremia resulted in the development of infection in the left ankle, which had preexisting disease and was thus vulnerable. This case provides further evidence for the mode of infection being bacteremia in cirrhotic patients. In patients with cirrhosis and fever, a high index of suspicion is required for joint infection as a potential cause of fever or deterioration in the cirrhotic's patient general condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-366
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cirrhosis
  • Spontaneous bacterial arthritis


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