Computed Tomographic Scan Evaluation of Pulmonary Blastomycosis
Embil, John M
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BACKGROUND: Blastomycosis is an uncommon granulomatous pulmonary and extrapulmonary infectious disease caused by the thermally dimorphic fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. Diagnosis may be delayed or difficult because of varied presentation. The characteristics of blastomycosis on computed tomographic (CT) scan of the chest are not well characterized.METHODS: The images from 34 chest CT scans from patients with confirmed pulmonary blastomycosis were retrospectively reviewed.RESULTS: The most common CT findings were air bronchograms in 22 patients (65%), consolidation in 21 patients (62%), nodules (smaller than 3 cm) in 21 patients (62%) and lymph node enlargement (mediastinal and hilar nodes combined) in 12 patients (35%). Only four patients (12%) had a miliary pattern.CONCLUSIONS: A specific abnormality characteristic of pulmonary blastomycosis was not identified on CT scanning. The diagnosis can only be made in the context of a high index of clinical suspicion with histological or culture confirmation.