Poststernotomy osteomyelitis presenting with severe sepsis and rhabdomyolysis

Eugene M. Tan, Melissa Lyle, Kelly Cawcutt, Zelalem Temesgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A 39-year-old male, who recently underwent a composite valve graft of the aortic root and ascending aorta for bicuspid aortic valve and aortic root aneurysm, was hospitalized for severe sepsis, rhabdomyolysis (creatine kinase 29000 U/L), and severe liver dysfunction (AST > 7000 U/L, ALT 4228 U/L, and INR > 10). Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings were consistent with sternal osteomyelitis with a 1.5 cm abscess at the inferior sternotomy margin, which was contiguous with pericardial thickening. Aspiration and culture of this abscess did not yield any organisms, so he was treated with vancomycin and cefepime empirically for 4 weeks. Because this patient was improving clinically on antibiotics and did not show external signs of wound infection, there was no compelling indication for sternectomy. This patient's unusual presentation with osteomyelitis and rhabdomyolysis has never been reported and is crucial for clinicians to recognize in order to prevent delays in diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4507012
JournalCase Reports in Medicine
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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