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Lung diseases

Calcified deposits in my lungs

02/08/2010

Question:

After having a stress test/non treadmill/drug induced...I had some problems resulting in a cat scan looking for problems with my heart, while my heart is looking ok, the scan showed calcified deposits in my lungs....none of my doctors have seen, or told me about these polyps....I did go to Mammoth Caves in the 1980`s and I am wondering if I could have picked up a case of histoplasmosis while in the caves....are there any studies of Mammoth Caves, and/or any incications of this disease from exposure to bat dung in the caves?....

Answer:

Histoplasma capsulatum is very common in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys, where many people have already been exposed to the fungus. It thrives in damp soil that's rich in organic material, especially the droppings from birds and bats. For that reason, it's particularly common in chicken and pigeon coops, old barns, caves and parks. I am unaware of any studies specifically looking at cases of Histoplasmosis related to exposure in Mammoth Caves.

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Response by:

Jennifer  McCallister, MD Jennifer McCallister, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University