Pathology of hyalohyphomycosis caused by Scedosporium apiospermum (Pseudallescheria boydii): an emerging mycosis

T S Tadros, K A Workowski, R J Siegel, S Hunter, D A Schwartz
Human Pathology 1998, 29 (11): 1266-72
The genus Scedosporium contains two medically significant species of emerging mycotic agents, S. apiospermum and S. prolificans, which have received scant attention. Scedosporium apiospermum is the anamorph, or asexual state, of the cosmopolitan fungus Pseudallescheria boydii, with both sharing the same risk factors for infection, clinical spectrum, and histopathologic features. Scedosporium prolificans is a recently recognized agent of bone, soft tissue, and joint infections that occurs with highest frequency in children and young adults. S. prolificans may also cause potentially fatal disseminated infections in immunocompromised persons. The drug sensitivities of both Scedosporium species are significantly different from those of most other fungi, and thus identification of these organisms is important. Unfortunately, the pathological features of Scedosporium infections may be easily confused with other mycotic agents, resulting in delayed or inappropriate medical therapy. Because many pathologists and clinicians are unfamiliar with the significance of Scedosporium spp. infection, this communication describes three persons with differing clinical and pathological presentations of S. apiospermum infection. In one patient with sickle cell disease and chronic mycotic sinusitis, fungal colonies of S. apiospermum removed from the sinuses showed a pattern of alternating zones of mycelial hypercellularity and hypocellularity associated with conidiation, similar to a previous report of P. boydii infection. The clinicopathologic features of an immunocompetent person with S. apiospermum osteomyelitis, and a patient with S. apiospermum infection of the brain after bone marrow transplantation, are also described.

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