Eur J Case Rep Intern Med. 2020 Jul 20;7(10):001798. doi: 10.12890/2020_001798. eCollection 2020.
BACKGROUND: Non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) is a paraneoplastic phenomenon with sterile vegetations. It is associated with adenocarcinoma and can shower emboli, which can be the presenting symptom.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 44-year-old woman with adenocarcinoma of the lung presented with chest pain, left hand weakness, and ataxia due to repeated embolic showering from NBTE to the central nervous system (CNS) and spleen.
CONCLUSION: NBTE is a rare condition that should be on the differential diagnosis in patients with culture-negative endocarditis and a history of adenocarcinoma.
LEARNING POINTS: Differentiating non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) from infective endocarditis can be a diagnostic challenge due to slow growing organisms; laboratory findings that suggest NBTE include the lack of leucocytosis, normal C-reactive protein, negative blood culture sets, and positive antiphospholipid antibodies.Serial transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) should be performed if suspicion of valvular vegetations is high despite the initial TEE showing no vegetations.The mainstay treatment of NBTE is anticoagulation and addressing the underlying condition.