Home | About us | Editorial Board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | Online submissionContact Us   |  Subscribe   |  Advertise   |  Login  Page layout
Wide layoutNarrow layoutFull screen layout
Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
  Users Online: 817   Home Print this page  Email this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size

  Table of Contents    
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 74-75  

Histoplasmosis presenting as an intrathoracic mass

1 Department of Respiratory Medicine, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pathology, B.R.D Medical College, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Pathology, R.M.L.I.M.S, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication31-Dec-2018

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Surya Kant
Department of Respiratory Medicine, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_41_18

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Pandey MK, Bajpai J, Kant S, Mishra P, Verma S. Histoplasmosis presenting as an intrathoracic mass. Lung India 2019;36:74-5

How to cite this URL:
Pandey MK, Bajpai J, Kant S, Mishra P, Verma S. Histoplasmosis presenting as an intrathoracic mass. Lung India [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Aug 9];36:74-5. Available from: http://www.lungindia.com/text.asp?2019/36/1/74/249172


Histoplasmosis is a granulomatous disease of fungal etiology, caused by intracellular dimorphic fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. The organism is more prevalent in certain parts of North and Central America and also rarely reported from the soil of the Gangetic plains of India.[1] Infection occurs most commonly through inhalation, leading to various clinical presentations.[2] Depending on the intensity of exposure of the infection and immunity of the exposed person, the range of clinical presentation may vary from asymptomatic to progressive disseminated histoplasmosis.[3] Histoplasmosis can mimic tuberculosis (TB) both clinically and histopathologically and thus many cases may potentially be erroneously diagnosed as TB, especially in a TB endemic country like India. We present a rare case of an intrathoracic mass which was incidentally discovered on imaging and was later confirmed to be a pulmonary histoplasmosis on histopathology.

An 18-year-old nonsmoker young male presented with complaints of cough, chest pain and weight loss for 6 months. On clinical ground, he was started antitubercular therapy, but his symptoms were deteriorating with increased chest pain and cough. Workup for his chest pain at the referring hospital had included a chest X-ray [Figure 1] which revealed a suspicious mediastinal mass. This was followed by computed tomography (CT) thorax with contrast which demonstrated a large well-defined mass lesion in the right lower lobe abutting costal and mediastinal pleura, left atrium, suprahepatic part of the inferior vena cava, and right pulmonary vein with ill-defined interface. The lesion was also seen insinuating in retrocardiac region with mild extension toward left lung. CT-guided biopsy of mass lesion showed lung parenchyma with interstitial fibrosis along with necrosis and dense inflammatory infiltrate comprising mainly foamy histiocytes, neutrophil-lymphocytes, and plasma cells. Gomori methenamine silver stain [Figure 2] shows fungal organisms as rounded black-colored structures in the cytoplasm confirming the diagnosis of histoplasmosis. Routine blood investigations revealed hemoglobin of 12.1 gm%, total count of 10,000/cmm (neutrophils: 68%, lymphocytes: 27%, and eosinophils: 5%). Viral markers including HIV, HBsAg, and HCV were negative.
Figure 1: Chest X-ray posteroanterior view showing a mediastinal mass

Click here to view
Figure 2: Intrathoracic mass biopsy histopathological examination with Gomori methenamine silver stain showing fungal organisms as rounded black-colored structures in the cytoplasm suggestive of histoplasmosis

Click here to view

The patient was treated with antifungal treatment in the form of itraconazole 200 mg two times in a day. On follow-up visit, he showed improvement clinically and follow-up chest X-ray posteroanterior view showed resolution of mass lesion [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Chest X-ray posteroanterior view demonstrating resolution of mass lesion

Click here to view

Histoplasmosis is not endemic in India. Most of the cases have been reported from the Gangetic plains of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. On the basis of histoplasmin skin sensitivity testing, the prevalence of histoplasmosis in India varies from 0% to 12.3%.[4] Histoplasmosis usually develops through inhalation of fungal spores. Within few weeks to months, it hematogenously spread to reticuloendothelial system. The range of clinical presentations includes asymptomatic pulmonary histoplasmosis, acute diffuse pulmonary histoplasmosis, chronic pulmonary histoplasmosis, disseminated histoplasmosis, endobronchial histoplasmosis, fibrosing mediastinitis, mediastinal granulomas, and lung nodules. The majority of healthy persons infected with H. capsulatum develop a self-limiting disease. Severe or disseminated forms of histoplasmosis usually occur in immunocompromised hosts.[5],[6] Lung biopsy and fungal culture has been widely recognized as the gold standards for diagnosing pulmonary histoplasmosis. Unlikely with the literature, our patient was presented with large solid mass of the right lower lobe abutting the surrounding structure with extension toward left lung. The diagnosis of histoplasmosis was established by histopathological examination and special staining of tissue obtained by percutaneous CT-guided biopsy. The patient was put on antifungal treatment in the form of Itraconazole and shows clinical as well as radiological improvement. The case was more interesting because no factor responsible for immunosuppression could be demonstrated in the patient.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient has given his consent for his images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patient understands that his name and initial will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Sanyal M, Thammayya A. Histoplasma capsulatum in the soil of gangetic plain in India. Indian J Med Res 1975;63:1020-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Goodwin RA, Loyd JE, Des Prez RM. Histoplasmosis in normal hosts. Medicine (Baltimore) 1981;60:231-66.  Back to cited text no. 2
Goodwin RA Jr., Shapiro JL, Thurman GH, Thurman SS, Des Prez RM. Disseminated histoplasmosis: Clinical and pathologic correlations. Medicine (Baltimore) 1980;59:1-33.  Back to cited text no. 3
Viswanathan R, Chakravarty SC, Randhawa HS, Demonte AJ. Pilot histoplasmosis survey in Delhi area. Br Med J 1960;1:399-400.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kauffman CA. Histoplasmosis: A clinical and laboratory update. Clin Microbiol Rev 2007;20:115-32.  Back to cited text no. 5
Zhu C, Wang G, Chen Q, He B, Wang L. Pulmonary histoplasmosis in a immunocompetent patient: A case report and literature review. Exp Ther Med 2016;12:3256-60.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded148    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal