Author | Richard Duncalf, MD

Articles

How to handle progressive disseminated histoplasmosis

January 01, 2008

Progressive disseminated histoplasmosis (PDH) ismost likely to occur in patients with AIDS. Typical signs andsymptoms include fever, night sweats, anorexia, malaise, dyspnea,weight loss, hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, skinlesions, and neurological deficits. The diagnosis of histoplasmosiscan be confirmed by tissue culture and stains and byserological studies. Bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage(BAL) often plays a pivotal role in the workup, particularly inpatients with respiratory symptoms and abnormal chest radiographicfindings. In some cases, transbronchial biopsy in conjunctionwith BAL can improve the diagnostic yield. Liposomalamphotericin B or amphotericin B lipid complex is recommendedfor the initial treatment of moderately severe to severePDH. Itraconazole may be appropriate for those with mild tomoderate PDH and is recommended for maintenance therapy.(J Respir Dis. 2008;29(1):37-40)