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March 1957

Acute Pulmonary Histoplasmosis: Treatment with Cortisone

Author Affiliations

Allenwood, Pa.; Williamsport, Pa.; Montgomery, Pa.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;99(3):370-375. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260030050005

Histoplasmosis is endemic in the states of the Mississippi Valley, and it is estimated that 30 million persons have been infected with the causative fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum. Clinical cases of histoplasmosis have been reported from 25 states, and numerous epidemics have been described, often outside of the endemic areas. No effective or specific treatment has been found, but fortunately the disease does not carry a high mortality. Histoplasmosis closely resembles tuberculosis on chest roentgenograms, both in the primary and in the acute disseminated forms, as well as in the calcification resulting from healed lesions.

It is known that clinical histoplasmosis is endemic in areas coinciding with regions high in histoplasmin skin reactions. Endemic centers also coincide with areas having a high incidence of pulmonary calcification. It is also known that the soil acts as a reservoir for H. capsulatum and that soil samples collected from inside chicken houses or chicken

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