OBJECTIVE: Infections with Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum are very rare as in most of the cases its isolation is associated with tissue colonization rather than infection.
CASE REPORT: An 80-year old female patient was sent to the consultation hour of thoracic surgery for evaluation of a symptomatic persistent unilateral pleural effusion of her right lung. The differential diagnosis included either the presence of a chronic pleural empyema or the presence of malignancy. After excluding a malignancy, a decortication of the middle and lower lobe was performed, as the two lobes could not significantly re-expand. The course was further complicated by the presence of two-times deep wound dehiscence, which made necessary a rethoracotomy. The microbiologic results of the biopsies revealed the presence of only Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum with an initially questionable clinical relevance. As soon as the antibiotic treatment for Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum began, together with the use of vacuum-assisted therapy (VAC), the closure of the thoracotomy was accelerated.
CONCLUSIONS: Clinically relevant surgical site infections with Corynebacterium species in thoracic surgery are difficult to distinguish. Nevertheless, its combined surgical and antibiotic treatment is warranted when its relevance is questionable due to its resistance to broad-spectrum antibiotics as well as to its potential for the complicated clinical course.Free PDF Download
To cite this article
A. Tampakis, E.C. Tampaki, K. Kontzoglou, E. Patsouris, G. Kouraklis, D. Lardinois
Postoperative deep wound dehiscence of thoracotomy with isolation of Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum: surgical site infection or colonization?
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 21 - N. 22