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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682

Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. vol.46 no.1 Uberaba Jan./Feb. 2013 

Images In Infectious Diseases

Histoplasmosis associated with Addison's disease

Lísea  WilhelmI 

Nara  MartinsII 

Érico Silva  LoretoIII  IV 

IUniversidade Regional Integrada do Alto Uruguai e das Missões, Departamento de Ciências da Saúde, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Laboratório Clínico, Santo Ângelo, RS

IIUniversidade Federal de Santa Maria, Departamento de Patologia, Santa Maria, RS

IIIUniversidade Federal de Santa Maria, Departamento de Microbiologia e Parasitologia, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Farmacologia, Santa Maria, RS

IVSociedade Brasileira para o Ensino e Pesquisa, Santa Maria, RS

A 60-year-old female farmer and resident of the hinterlands of Rio Grande do Sul (southern Brazil) had a history of treatment for depression (sertraline, 50mg daily) and widespread pain. Clinical and laboratory examinations revealed mild gastritis, gastric mucosal atrophy, and osteoporosis. She reported continued use of fludrocortisone and prednisone for the treatment of Addison's disease, which had been diagnosed previously.

A total abdominal ultrasound revealed the presence of two solid nodular lesions: one measuring 5cm in diameter, located in the region of the right adrenal gland, and the other measuring 5.7cm at its greatest diameter and located in the region of the left adrenal gland.

Histological analysis of hepatic fragments revealed steatosis affecting approximately 20% of hepatocytes and fibrous portal expansion with rare septa formation. Iron overload was not observed (Figure A). Extensive areas of necrosis and peripheral fibrosis were observed in the suprarenal fragments (Figure B). The pericystic lymph node showed granulomatous lymphadenitis. Grocott's methenamine silver staining revealed the presence of fungal elements characteristic of Histoplasma capsulatum in the suprarenal fragments (Figure C), lymph nodes, and liver histological sections, which confirmed the diagnosis of histoplasmosis.

The patient was treated with 100 mg of itraconazole twice a day for a year, during which time she presented a good clinical condition. This case illustrates the fact that infection of the adrenal glands caused by H. capsulatum, particularly in endemic areas, should be considered and included in the differential diagnosis of diseases of the adrenal glands.


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2. Kumar N, Singh S, Govil S. Adrenal histoplasmosis: clinical presentation and imaging features in nine cases. Abdom Imaging 2003; 28:703-708. [ Links ]

3. Larbcharoensub N, Boonsakan P, Aroonroch R, Rochanawutanon M, Nitiyanant P, Phongkitkarun S, et al. Adrenal Histoplasmosis: A Case Series and Review of the Literature. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2011; 42:920-925. [ Links ]

Received: December 13, 2012; Accepted: January 14, 2013

Address to: Dr. Érico Silva Loreto. LAPEMI/UFSM. Av. Roraima 1000, Prédio 20, sala 4139, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS, Brasil. e-mail: Phone/Fax: 55 55 3220-8906

Creative Commons License This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.