Disseminated Mycobacterium Sepsis with Bone Marrow, Liver, and Lung Involvement Following Intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) Therapy

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Drew Hager
Zeenib Kohja
Terry Wuerz
Arjuna Ponnampalam

Disseminated BCG, histopathology


Introduction: BCG therapy is first line therapy for high grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Case Presentation: A 54-year-old male presented with fevers, rigors and hematuria one week following intravesical BCG administration for treatment of NMIBC. He developed fever, pancytopenia, elevated liver enzymes and pulmonary infiltrates with progression of symptoms despite broad spectrum antimicrobial therapy. A bone marrow biopsy showed granulomatous infiltration; cultures of urine demonstrated growth of Mycobacterium bovis. A diagnosis of disseminated BCG infection secondary to intravesical administration was made; rifampin, isoniazid, ethambutol, and high dose prednisone were initiated.

Conclusion: Adverse events associated with BCG administration have been attributed to both the primary mycobacterium infection and to hypersensitivity reactions. Timely collection of histopathology can lead to early treatment of disseminated BCG with good outcomes. Internists should have a high index of suspicion for patients presenting with organ dysfunction with an immediate or remote history of intravesical BCG administration.
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