Histoplasma capsulatum can rarely affect the trachea. We report the case of a 68-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis on immunosuppressive therapy who presented with fevers, worsening shortness of breath, nonproductive cough and subjective throat hoarseness and fullness. Chest computed tomography demonstrated no tracheal findings. Bronchoscopy found mucosal irregularity, nodularity and vesicular regions in the proximal trachea extending seven centimeters distal to the vocal cords. Also seen was an edematous, exudative left vocal cord with polyps and an ulcerative lesion. Silver staining and culture and wash of the tracheal biopsy revealed Histoplasma capsulatum. She was treated with oral itraconazole then briefly on intravenous amphotericin for rising Histoplasma urinary antigen levels. She continued treatment 24 months following diagnosis with minimal dyspnea. Histoplasma tracheitis has been proposed as an indicator of disseminated infection. However, our patient did not demonstrate other organ manifestations. Histoplasma tracheitis should be considered in a differential diagnosis of tracheal lesions even in the absence of systemic involvement.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.