Cat scratch disease is known to be a generally benign, self-resolving illness associated with non-specific symptoms, including lymphadenopathy, fever, fatigue, anorexia, and headaches. However, it can also cause disseminated disease with a wide range of manifestations, including liver and spleen microabscesses, osteomyelitis, encephalitis, and uveitis. Eighteen pediatric cases of disseminated cat scratch disease at a single center in Hawai'i are described. This case series emphasizes the importance of disease recognition and use of appropriate diagnostic tools and disease management. The disease burden of pediatric patients with disseminated cat scratch disease in the state of Hawai'i has a high incidence and should be considered in pediatric patients with prolonged febrile illnesses.
Keywords: Bartonella henselae; diagnosis; disseminated cat scratch disease; pediatrics, treatment.