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Scand J Rheumatol. 2009;38(4):311-6. doi: 10.1080/03009740902776935.

Disseminated Histoplasma capsulatum infection presenting with panniculitis and focal myositis in rheumatoid arthritis treated with etanercept.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Notre-Dame Hospital, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, and Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


We report the case of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on etanercept who presented with panniculitis and focal myositis as manifestations of disseminated histoplasmosis. Systematic search of the literature showed 11 additional case reports of disseminated histoplasmosis with tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) blockade therapy (infliximab, n = 8; etanercept, n = 3). Although disseminated histoplasmosis may manifest with classical symptoms of fever and respiratory complaints, it may also present atypically, such as with panniculitis and focal myositis. This review illustrates and emphasizes the importance of being highly suspicious for infection, including by opportunistic organisms, and to exclude such process in patients treated with a TNFalpha inhibitor when faced with unusual complications, even when an alternative aetiology appears plausible.

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