To determine the frequency and clinical characteristics of infection with Coccidioides immitis in immunosuppressed patients at Stanford University Hospital, clinical records of 14 years were examined. Thirteen cases met the diagnostic criteria. Half had Hodgkin's disease. In six the infection was disseminated; five of the six died early in the course of their infectious illness, frequently without diagnosis. Conclusions include: 1. The occurrence of coccidioidomycosis in immunosuppressed patients seen at institutions in or adjacent to the endemic area is not as rare as the literature suggests. 2. Dissemination is frequently explosive and the radiographic appearance of pulmonary involvement may appear late. Widespread pulmonary dissemination may occur within 24 hours after a negative x-ray. 3. Although the skin test loses its diagnostic value, the serology remains valid. Thus immunosuppressed patients with febrile illnesses (with or without radiographically evident pulmonary involvement) who have a history of travel to an endemic area should have serological examinations. 4. Lymphocytopenia correlates with risk of dissemination of coccidioidomycosis. 5. The administration of immunsuppressive chemotherapy correlates with such risk while radiotherapy and the malignant or non-malignant nature of the disease do not.
View details for Web of Science ID A1975AR32100002
View details for PubMedID 1099399