Imaging Manifestations of Blastomycosis: A Pulmonary Infection with Potential Dissemination

  • Fang W
  • Washington L
  • Kumar N
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Pulmonary blastomycosis is an uncommon pathologic condition that is endemic to Canada and the upper Midwest of the United States. Blastomycosis has a variety of radiologic manifestations, including airspace consolidation, focal masses, intermediate-sized nodules, interstitial disease, miliary disease, and cavitary lesions. Affected patients may be asymptomatic or may present with clinical manifestations ranging from mild chronic cough to acute respiratory distress syndrome-like symptoms. Patients with acute symptoms are more likely to have airspace consolidation, whereas chronic manifestations may be associated with masslike lesions. Intermediate-sized nodules with accompanying airspace consolidation, particularly in the upper lobes, should raise suspicion for fungal disease. Lymphadenopathy and pleural effusions are quite uncommon, and calcification is not often seen. Blastomycosis may be aggressive and require treatment. Dissemination from the lung is not unusual and can involve any organ. Diagnosis is often delayed because blastomycosis can mimic many other disease processes, including bacterial pneumonia, malignancy, and tuberculosis. Radiologists can best contribute to the care of patients who live or travel in endemic areas by maintaining a high degree of suspicion for blastomycosis and being familiar with its myriad manifestations.

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  • Wayne Fang

  • Lacey Washington

  • Nidhi Kumar

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