Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- What is histoplasmosis?
- What causes histoplasmosis?
- What are the symptoms and signs of histoplasmosis?
- Are there different types of histoplasmosis?
- How is histoplasmosis transmitted?
- How is histoplasmosis diagnosed?
- How is histoplasmosis treated?
- What are the complications seen with histoplasmosis?
- How is histoplasmosis prevented?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for people with histoplasmosis?
- Where is more information available on histoplasmosis?
- Histoplasmosis At A Glance
What is the prognosis (outlook) for people with histoplasmosis?
About 90% of patients who acquire acute pulmonary histoplasmosis are asymptomatic, and about another 5%-7% who develop symptoms recover completely. Few may get acute pericarditis and pleural effusions. As the severity of the disease increases, the chance that lifelong problems may occur also increases. Patients with chronic pulmonary histoplasmosis usually develop (90%) cavities in the lungs that may reduce lung capacity and result in respiratory problems and increase the chances for a secondary lung infection. Progressive disseminated histoplasmosis has a grim prognosis (death in a few weeks to months) if appropriate treatment is not received. Even with appropriate treatment, some patients will experience relapses and may require antifungal medication for the rest of their life.
Where is more information available on histoplasmosis?
- Histoplasmosis is a fungal disease caused by Histoplasma capsulatum that usually infects the lungs.
- Although about 90% of infections are asymptomatic, when symptoms occur, they are usually mild, lung-related, and resolve without antifungal therapy.
- There are three major types of histoplasmosis (acute, chronic and progressive) with subtypes.
- People with underlying health problems or are immunosuppressed usually develop the more severe cases of the disease.
- Antifungal drugs are used to treat chronic and progressive types of histoplasmosis.
- Many complications involving heart, lungs, adrenal glands, CNS, and other organs can occur in some cases of histoplasmosis.
- Avoiding bird and or bat droppings and dust contaminated with such material may help prevent the disease.
Last Editorial Review: 6/23/2009
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