Cat-scratch disease affects an estimated 22,000 people in the United States each year, more than half of whom are children or adolescents. It is caused by Bartonella henselae, a gram-negative bacillus usually introduced by the scratch of a cat. In the past, diagnosis was made if three of the following four criteria were met: (1) history of cat exposure with inoculation, (2) positive skin test, (3) absent laboratory and histopathologic evidence of other diseases, and (4) biopsy findings of granulomatous inflammation. Recent identification of the causative organism has led to new diagnostic tests, including serum assays for B. henselae antibodies. Although response of the disease to antibiotics is poor, spontaneous recovery generally occurs within months to years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging