Peritoneal Coccidioidomycosis: a Rare Case Report and Review of the Literature
Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection endemic to the southwestern United States that typically causes a self-limited pulmonary illness. Extrapulmonary dissemination is extremely rare and typically localized to the skin, bone, and meninges. The gastrointestinal system has generally been thought to be spared from this disease. This report describes a patient who was initially diagnosed with pulmonary coccidioidomycosis with mediastinal lymphadenopathy and skin dissemination. Ten months after completion of treatment, he presented with nonspecific abdominal pain and diffuse musculoskeletal and constitutional symptoms. Radiographic imaging revealed near resolution of previously noted thoracic findings but new peritoneal thickening and enhancement suggestive of peritoneal carcinomatosis. Laparoscopic biopsies confirmed Coccidioides immitis by culture and histology without evidence of other abnormalities.
This case is unique for several reasons. It is one of a relatively small number of cases that describes a diagnosis of peritoneal coccidioidomycosis and the first case identified in which a healthy patient developed extensive peritoneal disease in spite of near-complete resolution of pulmonary and skin manifestations after appropriate treatment. This case underscores the complexity of this disease and motivates more investigation into pathophysiology and treatment considerations of coccidioidomycosis in the gastrointestinal system. We will review the risk factors associated with dissemination, the interpretation of serologies, the characteristics of patients with peritoneal involvement, and finally, the current treatment guidelines.
Abbreviations: AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; CF: complement fixation; HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus; ID: immunodiffusion; IDCF: quantitative immunodiffusion.