Disseminated histoplasmosis in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients in Uberaba, MG, Brazil

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SummaryHistoplasmosis occurs in approximately 5% of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients in endemic areas and often evolves to a disseminated picture if diagnosis is delayed and/or CD4 count falls below 150 cells × mm3 without high active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). This report presents clinical features of patients with histoplasmosis admitted from 1992 to 2005. Of the 57 individuals, 45 (79%) were male, aged 20–40 years; 30 (52.6%) presented histoplasmosis together with HIV diagnosis and 35 (61.4%) referred illness course up to 4 weeks. Fever, hepatomegaly and/or splenomegaly, dyspnea and skin lesions were noticed in 50 (87.7%), 38 (66.7%), 30 (52.6%) and 25 (43.9%) patients respectively. High levels of lactic acid dehydrogenase, X-ray lung interstitial pattern, pancytopenia and CD4 count <100 cells × mm3 were observed in 48 (84.2%), 35 (66%), 34 (59.6%) and 33 (94%) patients respectively. Mycological diagnosis was performed by one or more methods in all patients. Thirty nine (68.4%) received amphotericin B and/or itraconazole. A cure rate was observed in 76.9% and nine (23.1%) died early during therapy. Otherwise death occurred in 18 (31.6%) before diagnosis was completed. Despite free HAART disposal in public Brazilian health services, histoplasmosis still occurs as the first AIDS baseline condition in patients without antiretroviral therapy, many of whom are not receiving any medical care for HIV infection.

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