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Polymicrobial Bacteremia

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Paul E. Hermans, M.D., Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. 55901

Rochester, Minnesota

Ann Intern Med. 1970;73(3):387-392. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-73-3-387
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Polymicrobial bacteremia, defined as a bacteremic episode due to at least two different organisms isolated from the same blood sample, occurred in 46 patients (6% of all patients with bacteriologically established bacteremia) in an 18-month period. The mortality was 37%. Patients with gastrointestinal, biliary, or hepatic abnormalities represented the single largest group (30%); in this group and in patients with urinary tract abnormalities pathologic processes causing obstruction were common. A relatively benign clostridial bacteremia without underlying gas gangrene was found in four patients and should be differentiated from the clostridial bacteremia with hemolysis which may be seen as a terminal event in patients with gas gangrene. The rare entity of polymicrobial endocarditis or endarteritis can easily be overlooked; it was seen in three patients.







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