If you have been diagnosed with histoplasmosis, here are five more questions you may wish to ask your doctor:
1. You have run the sputum test for me and taken the blood antigen test. Will I need to go through any more testing?
That depends upon your doctor. If he or she considers it necessary to conduct a differential diagnosis, then they may prescribe any of the following or a combination of one or more of the following tests to be run on you:
• Conducting an antigen test on urine, cerebro-spinal fluid, etc., using the ELISA or PCR methods.
• Samples taken from blood and tissues of other infected parts such as lymph nodes, mouth ulcers, etc., are also used to check presence of antigens through cultures.
• X-rays and CAT scan imaging will also exhibit lung condition.
• Techniques of differential diagnosis are pursued to rule out other similar conditions caused by fungus or even flu. Diseases such as blastomycosis, various types of pneumonia, lung cancer, lymphoma, aspergillosis, tuberculosis, etc., are ruled out.
• For rare types of histoplasmosis, specialists in infectious diseases are required to arrive at the correct diagnosis.
• Bronchoscopy is done only if the results of the fungal culture tests are inconclusive. Here the trachea is examined along with the bronchial passage with an endoscope and a biopsy of a tissue is taken with the endoscope.
• A complete blood count, or CBC, with differentials is recommended to be carried out.
• Tests to indicate alkaline phosphatise concentration as well as lactase dehydrogenase will be conducted.
• Titer or concentration tests for antibodies as well as immunoprecipitating tests are conducted to see which antibodies are involved with which antigens and their binding is studied.
• A pulmonary function test could also be ordered to evaluate the degree of obstruction, defect, etc.
2. Will I have to go any invasive procedure now that I am diagnosed with chronic pulmonary histoplasmosis?
Generally, chronic pulmonary histoplasmosis patients are prescribed Itraconazole for an year if pulmonary cavity shows lesions in imaging results.