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Papers of the Week

2022 Aug




A Rare Case of West Nile Virus-Associated Cardiomyopathy.


Gao AR, Nichols L, Mannuru D
Cureus. 2022 Aug; 14(8):e28473.
PMID: 36176843.


A 68-year-old man presented in late summer 2021 with fever, myalgias, generalized weakness, dizziness, and headache. Past medical history included rheumatoid arthritis treated with infliximab, congestive heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, and recent travel to Alaska. He was febrile, tachycardic, and tachypneic on admission. Physical exam and admission labs were overall unremarkable. On day 4, he complained of shortness of breath and central chest discomfort. Troponin was mildly elevated, electrocardiogram was unremarkable, and echocardiogram showed new global wall motion abnormalities and ejection fraction of 40%, which was 55% months prior. Serum West Nile IgM antibodies resulted positive near the end of hospitalization. Testing for SARS-CoV-2, influenza as well as multiple other viral, bacterial, and fungal organisms was negative. Overall, the patient recovered clinically including improvement in ejection fraction on echocardiogram with conservative management. West Nile virus (WNV) is associated with a myriad of symptoms and complications, most notably, neuroinvasive disease. However, cardiomyopathy secondary to WNV as illustrated in this case has been infrequently described. Clinicians should be aware of this potential rare complication in patients with WNV to improve rapid detection and treatment of myositis, associated cardiomyopathy, and related complications.