The digitization of radiographic studies along with high-speed transmission of images has formed the basis of teleradiology, which has become an integral component in the workflow of a contempo-rary radiology practice. It is with this advent and growing utilization of teleradiology that the significance of the source location of images has gained importance. Specifically, the importance of where the patient resides and what endemic fungi occur in that location cannot be underestimated. In the United States, histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, blastomycosis, and cryptococcosis are caused by endemic fungi occurring in the Ohio and Mississippi river val-leys, the Southwest, the Upper Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest, respectively. All of these organisms enter the body through the respiratory system and have the potential to cause significant mor-bidity and mortality. Patients infected with these fungi are often asymptomatic but may present with acute flulike symptoms such as fever, cough, or dyspnea. Patients may also present with vague chronic symptoms including cough, fever, malaise, and weight loss. Thoracic manifestations at radiography and CT include consolida-tion, nodules, cavities, lymphadenopathy, and pleural disease. PET may show fluorine 18–fluorodeoxyglucose uptake with active acute or chronic infections, and it is difficult to distinguish infections from malignancy. Imaging findings may be nonspecific and can be confused with other disease processes, including malignancy. The patient demographics, clinical history, and location are clues that may lead to a proper diagnosis of endemic fungal disease. The radiologist should be cognizant of the patient location to provide a correct and timely radiologic diagnosis that helps guide the clinician to initiate appropriate therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging