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Volume 43, Number 6, December 2010

Cerebral Abscesses and Septic Pulmonary Emboli due to Serratia marcescens Infection Arising from a Portacath

Wasek Faisal, Georgina Burnton, Louise Imlay-Gillespie, John Robilliard

Received: October 6, 2008    Revised: May 4, 2009    Accepted: May 21, 2009   


Corresponding author:

Department of Medical Oncology, Gosford Hospital, Holden Street, Gosford, NSW 2250, Australia. E-mail:


Background and purpose: 

Percutaneous intravenous devices are an essential component of modern health care. Although they are
generally associated with a low incidence of vascular access device-related sepsis, the events following a
vascular catheter-related sepsis can be clinically significant and difficult to treat. Here we report a case of
Portacath-related sepsis with Serratia marcescens resulting in cerebral and pulmonary emboli, which in our
knowledge, has not been reported before. Definitive identification and prolonged antimicrobial treat-
ment according to culture sensitivities can lead to resolution of septic and pulmonary emboli.


Key words:

catheter-related infection, cerebral abscess, septic emboli, serratia marcescens