Practice guidelines for the management of patients with blastomycosis

Academic Article


  • Guidelines for the treatment of blastomycosis are presented; these guidelines are the consensus opinion of an expert panel representing the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Mycoses Study Group and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The clinical spectrum of blastomycosis is varied, including asymptomatic infection, acute or chronic pneumonia, and extrapulmonary disease. Most patients with blastomycosis will require therapy. Spontaneous cures may occur in some immunocompetent individuals with acute pulmonary blastomycosis. Thus, in a case of disease limited to the lungs, cure may have occurred before the diagnosis is made and without treatment; such a patient should be followed up closely for evidence of disease progression or dissemination. In contrast, all patients who are immunocompromised, have progressive pulmonary disease, or have extrapulmonary disease must be treated. Treatment options include amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole, and fluconazole. Amphotericin B is the treatment of choice for patients who are immunocompromised, have life-threatening or central nervous system (CNS) disease, or for whom azole treatment has failed. In addition, amphotericin B is the only drug approved for treating blastomycosis in pregnant women. The azoles are an equally effective and less toxic alternative to amphotericin B for treating immunocompetent patients with mild to moderate pulmonary or extrapulmonary disease, excluding CNS disease. Although there are no comparative trials, itraconazole appears more efficacious than either ketoconazole or fluconazole. Thus, itraconazole is the initial treatment of choice for non-life-threatening non-CNS blastomycosis.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chapman SW; Bradsher RW; Campbell GD; Pappas PG; Kauffman CA
  • Start Page

  • 679
  • End Page

  • 683
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 4