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Editorials |

Of Mycetomas and Men

Scott Lick, MD, FCCP; Alex Duarte, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Galveston, TX 
 ,  Dr. Lick is Associate Professor of Surgery, and Dr. Duarte is Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch.

Correspondence to: Scott Lick, MD, FCCP, Department of Surgery, Route 0528, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555-0528; e-mail: slick@utmb.edu



Chest. 2002;121(1):5-6. doi:10.1378/chest.121.1.5
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Aspergillus is a ubiquitous fungus found in soil, water, and decaying matter. It is readily airborne and causes a variety of respiratory conditions, including allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, parenchymal tissue invasion, and mycetoma. Mycetomas have long been recognized to occur in patients with preexisting pulmonary disease that results in focal destruction of lung tissue, leading to the formation of an intraparenchymal cavity. An early English postmortem report of a pulmonary mycetoma described “a soft velvety mass… firmly attached to the wall of the cavity. Under the microscope it exhibited a distinct mycelium… . ”1 It became widely recognized that individuals with healed tuberculous cavities were at risk for development of fungus balls. As the incidence of tuberculosis declined, mycetomas were identified with greater frequency in individuals with advanced sarcoidosis, pneumonoconiosis, and bullous emphysema.2


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