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Pulmonary and hepatic actinomycosis: atypical radiologic findings of an uncommon infection

  • Govind Mukundan
    Affiliations
    The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
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  • Elliot K Fishman
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-410-955-5173; fax: +1-410-614-0341
    Affiliations
    The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
    Search for articles by this author
      Actinomycosis is an uncommon infection caused by Actinomyces israelii, characterized by clinical and radiological findings that can resemble other inflammatory and neoplastic lesions. In the lung, the pathogen classically causes a chronic pneumonia, which may have associated pleuritis, abscesses and fibrosis. It is estimated in the literature that only 15% of all cases of actinomycosis involve the thorax [
      • Brown JR
      Human actinomycosis: a study of 181 subjects.
      ,
      • Frank P
      • Strickland B
      Pulmonary actinomycosis.
      ,
      • Bennhoff DF
      Actinomycosis: diagnostic and therapeutic considerations and a review of 32 cases.
      ]. The causative agent, Actinomyces, usually A. israelii, is non acid-fast, Gram-positive, filamentous bacterium belonging to the same family as Nocardia asteroides. The bacterial species is usually part of the normal flora of the oral cavity.
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