Throat fungus made man hoarse for over a year

Unaware that a fungus was growing in his larynx, a man grew increasingly hoarse, while his voice became shrill and harsh. For more than a year, the 60-year-old American lived with these symptoms, completely unaware of the cause of his condition.

Published in scientific journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, the case report of the hoarse man was authored by the medical team of Geisinger Medical Center, located in the state of Pennsylvania, USA. According to the authors, before being treated at the site, the patient would have received only treatment for asthma, but did not obtain any improvement in the hoarseness.

Man was hoarse for over a year as fungus grew in his throat (Image: LightFieldStudios/Envato Elements)

What was the hoarse man’s state of health?

After 12 months of living with a hoarse voice, doctors at Geisinger Medical Center report that the patient’s general health was good. In addition, the patient “denies a history of dysphagia, odynophagia, fever, unintentional weight loss, cough or reflux symptoms”, which could help in the diagnosis of his disease.

With no symptoms other than his voice, the man also had no recent surgery, had never smoked and was not consciously exposed to radiation. As there were no extra indicators, the medical team performed a videostroboscopy — a type of imaging test — and a biopsy of tissue from the larynx was also taken.

What fungus grew in your larynx?

On imaging, it was possible to confirm that the entire laryngeal region was swollen and that it was undergoing an intense inflammatory process. Through the biopsy, the medical team found that the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidiswhich causes blastomycosis, grew in the region of her throat.

In general, the B. dermatitidis grows outdoors, such as areas with moist soil and decaying organic materials (wood and leaves), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Although this organism lives outdoors, the spores of the fungus can be inhaled, which causes illness in some spices. When the individual is immunosuppressed, there is a risk of the fungus spreading through the lungs, reaching the central nervous system, comments the CDC.

However, the fungus grew only in the US patient’s larynx. “Laryngeal blastomycosis, first reported in 1918, is a rare extrapulmonary manifestation,” state the authors of the medical report. Currently, the patient was medicated, got rid of the fungus and has recovered his voice.

Source: Jama Network and live science

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