Cutaneous Manifestations of Disseminated Histoplasmosis in a Patient with AIDS

Main Article Content

Luis J Borda
Kate E Oberlin
Anna J Nichols


Disseminated histoplasmosis, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease, mortality.


Introduction: Disseminated histoplasmosis is often seen in immunocompromised individuals, such those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The initial infection mainly involves the lungs but it may develop into a disseminated form especially in immunocompromised patients. Since it can be a systemic disease with cutaneous manifestations, dermatologists must be able to recognize its clinical presentation to ensure prompt management.

Case: We present a man in his 50s with past medical history of AIDS who developed disseminated histoplasmosis with skin and gastrointestinal involvement over a one-month period of time. Despite receiving induction therapy with intravenous amphotericin B followed by oral itraconazole, the patient expired. His death was attributed to his persistently low CD4 T-cell count and secondary bacteremia.

Discussion: This condition should be recognized early and treated aggressively. However, patients with multiple comorbidities are at increased risk of mortality even despite adequate treatment. This case highlights the significant mortality risk of disseminated histoplasmosis in patients with AIDS.


1. Kauffman CA. Diagnosis of histoplasmosis in immunosuppressed patients. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2008;21(4):421-5.

2. Goodwin RA, Jr., Shapiro JL, Thurman GH, Thurman SS, Des Prez RM. Disseminated histoplasmosis: clinical and pathologic correlations. Medicine (Baltimore). 1980;59(1):1-33.

3. Assi MA, Sandid MS, Baddour LM, Roberts GD, Walker RC. Systemic histoplasmosis: a 15-year retrospective institutional review of 111 patients. Medicine (Baltimore). 2007;86(3):162-9.

4. Bahr NC, Antinori S, Wheat LJ, Sarosi GA. Histoplasmosis infections worldwide: thinking outside of the Ohio River valley. Curr Trop Med Rep. 2015;2(2):70-80.

5. Wheat LJ, Slama TG, Zeckel ML. Histoplasmosis in the acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Am J Med. 1985;78(2):203-10.

6. Nacher M, Adenis A, Blanchet D, Vantilcke V, Demar M, Basurko C, et al. Risk factors for disseminated histoplasmosis in a cohort of HIV-infected patients in French Guiana. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014;8(1):e2638.

7. Vergidis P, Avery RK, Wheat LJ, Dotson JL, Assi MA, Antoun SA, et al. Histoplasmosis complicating tumor necrosis factor-alpha blocker therapy: a retrospective analysis of 98 cases. Clin Infect Dis. 2015;61(3):409-17.

8. Pastor TA, Holcomb MJ, Motaparthi K, Grekin SJ, Hsu S. Disseminated histoplasmosis mimicking secondary syphilis. Dermatol Online J. 2011;17(11):10.

9. Moreno-Coutino G, Hernandez-Castro R, Toussaint-Caire S, Montiel-Robles M, Sanchez-Perez FS, Xicohtencatl-Cortes J. Histoplasmosis and skin lesions in HIV: a safe and accurate diagnosis. Mycoses. 2015;58(7):413-5.

10. Wheat LJ, Freifeld AG, Kleiman MB, Baddley JW, McKinsey DS, Loyd JE, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the management of patients with histoplasmosis: 2007 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis. 2007;45(7):807-25.

11. Adenis A, Nacher M, Hanf M, Vantilcke V, Boukhari R, Blachet D, et al. HIV-associated histoplasmosis early mortality and incidence trends: from neglect to priority. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014;8(8):e3100.

12. Nacher M, Adenis A, Mc Donald S, Do Socorro Mendonca Gomes M, Singh S, Lopes Lima I, et al. Disseminated histoplasmosis in HIV-infected patients in South America: a neglected killer continues on its rampage. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7(11):e2319.

Most read articles by the same author(s)