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We report on a 57-year-old patient presenting with progressive malaise, joint pain and skin rashes one month after visiting Costa Rica. After exclusion of common tropical diseases empiric antibiotic therapy was initiated, however, the patient's symptoms did not improve. CT scan of the chest demonstrated an intrapulmonary nodular lesion. Bronchoscopy revealed no pathological changes. Microbiologic analysis of the bronchoalveolar lavage fluids identified no pathogen. An abdominal ultrasound examination did not reveal pathological findings. Serological tests were positive for Histoplasma capsulatum. Treatment with itraconazole resulted in a fast initial clinical improvement, but complete resolution of all symptoms only occurred after completion of a 6-months course of itraconazole. Serial CT scans demonstrated a continuous regression of the pulmonary lesion. Histoplasmosis has a low incidence among travelers. However, histoplasmosis should be considered in patients with respiratory symptoms and history of travel to endemic countries, specifically when common traveler diseases have been excluded. Diagnosis is confirmed by serology, imaging and ultimately by biopsy for histological, cultural and molecular identification of the pathogen. Antimycotic drug therapy is the recommended treatment of choice for symptomatic cases. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.


Jonas Ehrhardt, Kathrin Tintelnot, Peter Kremsner, Matthias Frank. Progressive malaise and joint pain after travel to Costa Rica]. Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946). 2012 Nov;137(44):2260

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PMID: 23093397

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