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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Coccidioidomycosis and Pulmonary Emboli: A Report of 5 Cases

Challenging differential diagnosis, Management of emergency care, Rare coexistence of disease or pathology

John G. Prichard, Michelle B. Azimov, Karlos Z. Oregel

USA Department of Hematology and Immunology, Ventura County Medical Center, Ventura, CA, USA

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e924179

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.924179

Available online: 2020-05-21

Published: 2020-07-05


BACKGROUND: Coccidioidomycosis is endemic to the Sonoran life zone, which extends from Latin America to the western United States. The principle manifestation is pneumonia but disseminated disease also occurs. Venous thromboembolism occurring in association with this disease has not been reported. We encountered 5 cases of coccidioidomycosis, each complicated by pulmonary emboli, during a single year. We report these cases with the intent of making those caring for patients with coccidioidomycosis aware of this association.
CASE REPORT: A 35-year-old man developed fever and respiratory symptoms. He was initially treated with antibiotics as an outpatient and during a subsequent hospitalization. He was readmitted because of persistent respiratory symptoms and treated presumptively for coccidioidomycosis pneumonia. Hypoxemia persisted and multiple acute pulmonary emboli were evident on imaging. Serological study and organism identification confirmed a diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis infection. Details of this case and 4 additional cases are described.
CONCLUSIONS: Venous thromboembolism occurred in 5 patients with pulmonary coccidioidomycosis. The etiology of this rare association remains unclear but could be related to regional environmental changes that preceded the appearance of these cases.

Keywords: Coccidioidomycosis, Pneumonia, Pulmonary Embolism, venous thromboembolism