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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 20, Issue 5, Pages 340-342
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/646854
Clinico-pathologic Conferences

Pulmonary blastomycosis in a professional diver: An occupational risk

Ryan R Kroll1 and Ronald F Grossman2,3

1Queen’s University School of Medicine, Kingston, Canada
2University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
3Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In certain parts of the United States and Canada, and northern Ontario in particular, the dimorphic fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis is endemic and can cause infection in exposed individuals. The site of infection is usually pulmonary, causing respiratory and constitutional symptoms, but can also affect other sites in the body. Symptom severity can vary substantially from no symptoms to fatal acute respiratory distress syndrome. The present report describes a 27-year-old professional diver who had recently worked in northern Ontario, who developed symptoms of pneumonia and exhibited atypical findings on chest imaging. He was diagnosed with blastomycosis based on histopathological findings and fungal culture, and was treated with amphotericin B and itraconazole in accordance with treatment guidelines. While outdoor occupations in endemic areas increase the risk of infection, there is no literature specifically identifying professional diving as an occupational risk for blastomycosis.