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J Lab Physicians. 2016 Jul-Dec;8(2):129-31. doi: 10.4103/0974-2727.180797.

Disseminated Histoplasmosis: A Fatal Opportunistic Infection in Disguise.

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Department of Pathology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.


Histoplasma capsulatum is no longer confined to certain geographic areas and should always be considered in the differential diagnosis of lymphadenopathy and organomegaly in HIV-positive patients. We present an unusual case of a 20-year-old immunocompromised male of African origin presenting with fever, jaundice, hepatosplenomegaly, and retroperitoneal and cervical lymphadenopathy. Fine needle aspiration (FNA) smears from the cervical lymph node revealed numerous yeast forms of histoplasma in macrophages. The patient succumbed to the fulminant infection. Postmortem liver biopsy also revealed infiltration by histoplasma, confirming the diagnosis of disseminated histoplasmosis. This case highlights the variable nature of the clinical presentation of disseminated histoplasmosis which can mimic tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, or lymphoma. FNA cytology is a rapid, cost-effective, and reliable diagnostic tool for early detection and prompt management of histoplasmosis.


Disseminated; histoplasmosis; immunocompromised

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