Pearls & Oy-sters: Bilateral Mononeuropathic Neuralgic Amyotrophy Triggered by Bartonella henselae Infection Responsive to Immunoglobulin

We present a case of a cat owner with a scar on his right thenar eminence, followed by lymphadenopathy in the right axilla, general malaise and fever, and subsequent onset of bilateral neuralgic amyotrophy within one week. After a comprehensive workup, cat scratch disease caused by Bartonella henselae was confirmed serologically and adequately treated. Despite antibiotic treatment, the patient presented clinically with persistent bilateral, asymmetric neuropathy of the median nerve, predominantly the interosseous anterior nerve, which was confirmed by multifocal swelling and hyperintense signal of the nerves on T2-weighted MR neurography. Electrophysiological examination confirmed axonal median neuropathies bilaterally. After an unsuccessful steroid treatment trial, the patient showed an excellent and sustained response to intravenous immunoglobulin despite a delay from symptom onset to treatment of 10 months.

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