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J Voice. 2005 Mar;19(1):151-7.

Malignant mimickers: chronic bacterial and fungal infections of the larynx.

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Division of Otolaryngology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


Chronic infections of the larynx are notorious "copycats" of squamous cell carcinoma. Patients typically present with a historical picture and symptoms identical to those seen in a neoplastic setting: dyspnea, hoarseness, odynophagia, weight loss, and a history of tobacco and alcohol abuse. Historically, these patients were subject to an extensive resection for what was in reality a benign disease. A better understanding and awareness of these conditions has reinforced the need for a direct laryngoscopy, biopsy, and culture in the evaluation of long-lasting laryngeal lesions; this has led to more appropriate and focused treatment. The clinical mimicry of chronic laryngeal infections will be illustrated in two recent case reports, histoplasmosis and botryomycosis of the larynx, which will lead into a discussion on the differential diagnosis of bacterial and fungal laryngeal infections, their evaluation, and treatment options.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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