Salmonella septic arthritis of the knees in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus
Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
Hematogenous Salmonella osteomyelitis is uncommon in immunocompetent hosts, but occurs with some regularity in immunosuppressed patients affected by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Surgical debridement with resection of compromised tissue is central to the surgical management of osteomyelitis. Persistence of septic arthropathy may result from inadequate debridement, areas of osteonecrosis (ON), and an abnormal cellular and humoral dysregulation characteristic of SLE. We describe a 53-year-old Hispanic female with SLE on immunosuppressive therapy, who developed acute salmonella-induced septic arthritis and osteomyelitis of both knees associated with ON and recurrent SLE synovitis. She received prolonged antibiotic therapy and an extensive surgical debridement as part of a successful two-stage bilateral total knee replacement. This report illustrates the significance of Salmonella enterica infection in SLE patients, and the role of underlying bone and joint pathology such as bone infarcts, sub-acute osteomyelitis, and SLE synovitis.