Photoclinic: Catscratch Disease

By Barbara Barlow, MD,

This 12-year-old girl had a persistent, nontender enlarged lymph node in the right groin. After the lymphadenopathy had failed to respond to antibiotic therapy, pathologic examination of the lymph node established the diagnosis of catscratch disease. The child remembered that she had been scratched on the right calf by a cat the month before; the scratch had already healed when the lymph node appeared. This child had no symptoms other than lymph node enlargement; however, systemic symptoms of fever, malaise, and headache may occur 2 to 3 weeks after a cat scratch. Spontaneous node regression usually occurs within 4 weeks writes Barbara Barlow, MD, of New York, NY.