Adrenal histoplasmosis: a diagnosis on fine needle aspiration cytology

Diagn Cytopathol. 2011 Jun;39(6):438-42. doi: 10.1002/dc.21453. Epub 2010 Oct 14.


Histoplasmosis is a fungal disease endemic in central and eastern states of United States, South America, Africa, and Asia. It may present as chronic pulmonary infection or in disseminated form of infection. The disseminated form of histoplasmosis frequently affects the adrenal gland and is more likely to affect immunocompromised patients as compared to immunocompetent individuals. There are very few cases of adrenal histoplasmosis diagnosed on fine needle aspiration cytology. In the present era when fine needle aspiration has become popular modality for diagnosis, adrenal fine needle aspiration is still a less commonly practiced technique. We report eight cases of adrenal histoplasmosis diagnosed on fine needle aspiration cytology in patients with bilateral adrenal masses. The present case series supports the role of fine needle aspiration cytology of adrenal gland infections where surgery can be prevented and a definitive diagnosis can be made on which treatment can be offered.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / microbiology
  • Adrenal Glands / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle
  • Bone Marrow / microbiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Giant Cells / microbiology
  • Histoplasma
  • Histoplasmosis / diagnosis*
  • Histoplasmosis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Testis / microbiology