A cat previously diagnosed with valvular aortic stenosis developed acute respiratory distress. A new continuous heart murmur was noted on physical exam. Echocardiographic examination revealed vegetative lesions on the aortic valve and continuously shunting blood flow from the aorta into the left atrium. Despite initial treatment for left-sided congestive heart failure, the cat died suddenly. In addition to confirming aortic valve endocarditis and an acquired aorto-left atrial shunt, pathological examination identified vegetative lesions on the luminal surface of the ascending aorta. Although antemortem aerobic blood culture, 16s bacterial ribosomal DNA PCR, and Bartonella PCR failed to identify causative organisms, Escherichia coli was identified on postmortem tissue culture of the aortic lesion. This represented a unique case of primary valvular aortic stenosis with secondary infective aortic endocarditis, infective aortic endarteritis, and aorto-left atrial fistula in a cat. It highlighted potential adverse outcomes of aortic stenosis that are more commonly recognized in humans and dogs.
Published by Elsevier B.V.