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J Infect Dis. 1989 Feb;159(2):274-80.

Human pythiosis associated with thalassemia hemoglobinopathy syndrome.

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Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.


Pythium infection (pythiosis) in humans has not previously been described, even in areas endemic for animal pythiosis. We report five patients with a unique presentation of fungal arteritis. The medium- to large-sized arteries were involved, and in some cases this involvement led to gangrene of the limbs, aneurysm formation, and ultimately fatal arterial leakage. All five patients were farmers. All patients, with the possible exception of one who had hemoglobin typing performed after receiving a blood transfusion, had thalassemia hemoglobinopathy syndrome. Fungal isolation was difficult. Amphotericin B treatment seemed to be ineffective. Radical surgical removal of infected tissues and oral administration of a saturated solution of potassium iodide are proposed therapy. In the tropics, where Pythium is ubiquitous, one should actively look for this fungal infection in patients with unexplained arterial occlusion, especially in the case of patients with thalassemia hemoglobinopathy syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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