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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2004 May;128(5):574-7.

Epiglottic histoplasmosis presenting in a nonendemic region: a clinical mimic of laryngeal carcinoma.

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Dynacare Kasper Medical Laboratories and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Histoplasma capsulatum is a dimorphic fungus endemic to North America. Histoplasmosis is primarily an inhalation-acquired mycosis that is encountered rarely outside of endemic regions. In nonendemic regions, histoplasmosis may present a diagnostic challenge and both clinical and laboratory vigilance are required to accurately identify infection. Unusual clinical presentations with limited physical findings may compound the difficulty in diagnosis. We describe a 78-year-old retired soil science professor who presented with an eroded epiglottic mass secondary to disseminated histoplasmosis in a nonendemic region (Alberta). Clinically, this mass was thought to represent a primary laryngeal carcinoma, as no other buccal or oropharyngeal ulcers were identified. Histoplasmosis was confirmed by tissue biopsy and a positive immunodiffusion test for immunoglobulin G. Disseminated histoplasmosis is often associated with laryngeal and oropharyngeal disease; however, isolated epiglottic histoplasmosis is rare. Histoplasmosis should be included in the differential diagnosis of neoplasms and chronic ulcers of the upper aerodigestive tract.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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