Tag Archives: pleurisy

Chest 63; What ails thee (Jock)?

10 May

Fortunately systemic fungal infection in humans is uncommon, when it occurs it’s usually in immune-compromised people and the consequence can be disastrous. My index X-ray was of a young man born with HIV from his mother, with rare pleural fungal empyema caused by aspergillus. The prognosis is almost universally poor, successful treatment usually combines surgery with antifungal therapy.
The picture comprises a busy pattern of contrasting layers built from images taken of flowers, reflections in a polished ceramic tile, and a stained concrete wall. I‘ve tried to emphasise the fungal aspect of the disease with fruiting bodies of the mushroom amanita phalloides. They were growing in garden mulch outside our hospital (there is probably enough toxin in that group to poison a small town). The X-ray was split into two layers, they influence the composition separately, remove either layer and the congruity of the image falls apart.
Amanita toxin halts RNA function, cells therefore die first in the liver leading to acute failure followed by kidney and subsequently whole body failure. I don’t know the outcome of this young man but purely on statistics the prospects were unlikely to be good.


Chest 63; What ails thee (Jock)?


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