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Retinal and choroidal infarction from Aspergillus: clinical diagnosis and clinicopathologic correlations.

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Publication Date
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PMC
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Because the number of people with weakened immune systems has been increasing over the years, aspergillosis, which occurs more frequently in this group, is now the leading cause of death due to invasive fungal infections in the United States. Not everyone who gets aspergillosis goes on to develop the severe form (invasive aspergillosis). The starred states on the map show where invasive aspergillosis is most common. The map also shows the states in the U.S. where aspergillosis is most frequently found. The darkest shaded states are those with the highest number of people with aspergillosis, and the lighter shaded states are those with the fewest. What causes Aspergillosis? Aspergillus enters the body when you breathe in the fungal spores (“seeds”). This fungus is commonly found in your lungs and sinuses. If your immunity (the ability to “fight off” infections) is normal, the infection can be contained and may never cause an illness. However, a weak immune system or having a chronic lung disease allows the Aspergillus to grow, invade your lungs and spread throughout your body. This may happen if you: • have a cancer such as leukemia or aplastic anemia; • take chemotherapy or are on corticosteroids for a long time (for any reason); • had an organ transplant (for example, kidney or lung); • have advanced HIV infection; or • have a chronic lung disease like asthma, emphysema, tuberculosis or cystic fibrosis. Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a fungus called Aspergillus. The Aspergillus mold lives in soil, plants and rotting material. It can also be found in the dust in your home, carpeting, heating and air conditioning ducts, certain foods including dried fish and in marijuana. What are the different forms and symptoms of aspergillosis? Everyone reacts to this fungus differently, depending on your immunity and other factors. Different forms and their symptoms include: n Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis—an allergic reaction to the

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