What is the role of bronchoscopy in the workup of coccidioidomycosis?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019
  • Author: Duane R Hospenthal, MD, PhD, FACP, FIDSA, FASTMH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Bronchoscopy is a useful diagnostic procedure in suspected coccidioidal infection if results from other studies (eg, sputum, serologies) are not diagnostic. Successful identification of C immitis (and Mycobacterium tuberculosis) using endoscopic ultrasonography has been reported. [61]

Bronchoscopy may be able to double the yield (compared with sputum) in patients with parenchymal infiltrates and cavitary lesions. In one small series, bronchoscopy established a diagnosis of coccidioidal infection in almost 70% of such cases. [62]

Bronchoscopy is especially useful in patients with tracheal or endobronchial coccidioidal infection, in whom the appearance of lesions can range from erythematous plaques to submucosal nodules to endobronchial masses, and diagnosis is established histologically or from culture.

Bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage, needle aspiration, and/or lung biopsy may be indicated with persistent or progressive infections, especially in hosts who are immunocompromised.

Bronchoscopy has a very low yield in solitary pulmonary nodules secondary to coccidioidomycosis and is not recommended in these patients.

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