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A review of endemic mycoses after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

BACKGROUND: Endemic mycoses after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are rarely reported. We aimed to comprehensively review the clinical presentation and outcomes of endemic mycoses in this immunocompromised population.

METHODS: Multiple databases were reviewed from inception through May 31, 2023 using endemic fungi as keywords (e.g., coccidioides, histoplasma, blastomyces, talaromyces, and paracoccidioides). Only hematopoietic transplants were included.

RESULTS: There were 16 publications on endemic mycoses after HSCT that reported nine unique cases of histoplasmosis, seven coccidioidomycosis, and two talaromycosis. No cases of paracoccidioides and blastomycoses were identified. Fifteen cases were allogeneic hematopoietic transplant recipients and three were autologous. Many were male (14/18, 77.8%) and overall median age was 50 (range 21-75) years. Among the 16 patients with coccidiodomycosis or histoplasmosis, fever, cytopenias and disseminated disease were the most common clinical presentations, with median onset of 8 or 12 months after HSCT, respectively. Likewise, the two HSCT patients with talaromycosis presented with disseminated disease at 12 and 48 months after transplantation. The vast majority were not on effective azole prophylaxis at the time of presentation, and many had recent intensification of immunosuppression. Nine of 18 patients died (50%), and all deaths occurred among patients with disseminated endemic mycoses.

CONCLUSION: Endemic mycoses among HSCT are uncommon. Onset was late, after discontinuation of azole prophylaxis, or was associated with intensification of immunosuppression. Disseminated disease was a common presentation, manifested by fever and cytopenias. Attributable mortality was high, and emphasizes the need for a high index of clinical suspicion so that prompt diagnosis and treatment is provided.

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