BACKGROUND: The natural history of non-central nervous system (non-CNS) disseminated coccidioidomycosis (DCM) has not been previously characterized. The historical Veterans Affairs (VA)-Armed Forces coccidioidomycosis patient group provides a unique cohort of patients not treated with standard antifungal therapy, allowing for characterization of the natural history of coccidioidomycosis. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 531 VA-Armed Forces coccidioidomycosis patients diagnosed between 1955-1958 and followed to 1966. Groups were identified as non-DCM (462 patients), DCM (44 patients), and CNS (25 patients). The duration of the initial infection, fate of the primary infection, all-cause mortality, and mortality secondary to coccidioidomycosis were assessed and compared between groups. RESULTS: Mortality due to coccidioidomycosis at the last known follow-up was significantly different across the groups: 0.65% in the non-DCM group, 25% in the DCM group, and 88% in the CNS group (P < .001). The primary fate of pulmonary infection demonstrated key differences, with pulmonary nodules observed in 39.61% of the non-DCM group, 13.64% of the DCM group, and 20% of the CNS group (P < .001). There were differences in cavity formation, with 34.20% in the non-DCM group, 9.09% in the DCM group, and 8% in the CNS group (P < .001). Dissemination was the presenting manifestation or was concurrent with the initial infection in 41% and 56% of patients in the non-CNS DCM and CNS groups, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This large, retrospective cohort study helps characterize the natural history of DCM, provides insight into the host immunologic response, and has direct clinical implications for the management and follow-up of patients.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America|
|State||Published - Dec 6 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases