[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 15, 1980

Ocular histoplasmosis

JAMA. 1980;243(7):626-627. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300330006006

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The monkey—"the only animal with a macula identical to that of humans"—may soon start providing some information on the natural course of the mysterious human ophthalmologic condition that is thought to be ocular histoplasmosis.

According to Ronald E. Smith, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, when Histoplasma capsulatum is injected intravascularly into the animals, most "develop foci of acute histoplasmic choroiditis that resolve spontaneously, forming small scars. These are characteristic of the human disease and are sites of later reactivation, causing macular disease."

In humans, what is presumed to be ocular histoplasmosis is associated with edema and hemorrhaging in the macular area of the retina and choroid, often resulting in visual acuity of less than 20/200 and legal blindness. The condition is believed by some researchers to be associated with previous infection with H capsulatum.

Histoplasmosis as a systemic infection has at least