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Ear Lobe Histiocytosis as a Clue to the Diagnosis of Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis

Ann Intern Med. 1964;61(1):124-127. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-61-1-124
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The presence of histiocytes in the peripheral blood of patients with bacterial endocarditis was first reported in 1907 (1). It presumably indicates heightened reactivity of the reticuloendothelial system in response to the persisting infection (2). Daland, Gottlieb, Wallerstein, and Castle (3) have recently emphasized the diagnostic significance of finding histiocytes in the peripheral blood, especially in blood from the ear lobe, as a sign of occult bacterial endocarditis. This study reports on a patient who demonstrated marked histiocytosis in blood from the ear lobe and shows the effect of antibiotic therapy on this phenomenon.

CASE REPORT: A 65-year-old male rubber


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