Fibrosing mediastinitis (FM), which is also known as mediastinal fibrosis or sclerosing mediastinitis, is an uncommon, benign and progressive condition. What is Fibrosing Mediastinitis? Medistinal fibrosis is the common, but most severe, late complication of Histoplasmosis. Many Physicians believe mediastinal. Idiopathic Fibrosing Mediastinitis. Questions posed and edited by Candace McIntosh and Lucille Enix Reponses by James Loyd, M.D.. What are the symptoms.

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Post histoplasmosis fibrosing mediastinitis is characterized by invasive, calcified fibrosis centered at locations of lymph nodes, which, by definition, occludes major vessels or airways. There are no studies of FM that followed patients over long periods of fiibrosing, so the prognosis is not known.

Fibrosing Mediastinitis – NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders)

Blockage of the superior vena cava requires no treatment unless there are symptoms, but if there is swelling of the arms and neck, associated headache or other symptoms then stenting or bypass should be considered.

In the vast majority of the many millions of infected persons, infection and recurrent infection follow a generally benign course. Promote Awareness My Mission To create an informative resource for patients, families and loved ones affected by Fibrosing Mediastinitis. Mediastinal granuloma MG is a different late complication from histoplasmosis, but can be confused with fibrosing mediastinitis.

Do the diagnostic procedures themselves complicate the treatment or aggravate the disease or its symptoms? Rarely calcified stones broncholith may work their way into airways, and may be coughed out, or they may cause bronchial obstruction and infection.

Idiopathic fibrosing Mediastinitis is even less common, but may have multiple causes, none of which are related to histoplasmosis. For information about clinical trials sponsored by private sources, contact: The number of persons with idiopathic fibrosing mediastinitis is estimated to be several dozen in the United States.

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Compression of the superior vena cava may cause swelling of face or arms, and enlargement of the veins on the chest. In the past it was thought that mediastinal granuloma would eventually progress to fibrosing mediastinitis but the best evidence now supports that they are separate conditions. In the modern era, radiation is rarely used for any condition other than cancer.


They may also have fibrosis elsewhere in the body which may cause symptoms at those other sites. General Discussion Fibrosing mediastinitis is the least common, but the most severe, late complication of histoplasmosis.

What is HLA-A2 antigen? Data is not available about the effectiveness of these treatments, and most reports are individual cases, so it is not possible to be sure whether a response was actually caused by the treatment.

Accordingly, there are two types of fibrosing mediastinitis; histoplasmosis-related fibrosing mediastinitis, and idiopathic fibrosing mediastinitis which may have multiple causes unrelated to histoplasmosis.

These are the antigens tested by mediastiniitis to determine the cross compatibility of transplanted organs, including bone marrow and kidney. Because the scar of post Histoplasmosis FM grows very slowly in most patients, treatment would be needed for many years or decades to be effective. It should be differentiated from the many other less-severe mediastinal complications of histoplasmosis, and from other causes of mediastinal fibrosis, which are mediaetinitis Idiopathic mediastinal fibrosis.

There are no reports of studies of the immune system in Idiopathic FM. When scar has developed in a major vessel to the extent that it restricts blood flow mediasstinitis or from a lung, the decreased blood flow may cause lung infarction, with pain of pleurisy. If the scar tissue in FM is localized, surgical resection has been used rarely, but is high risk and appropriate for very few patients.

Although a bird sanctuary existed in the area, most cases occurred in employees who had no direct contact with the sanctuary. Is the circulatory system affected and, if so, in what ways?

Rare Disease Database

I have seen about patients with post Histo FM during the past 20 years, and about 10 patients with the Idiopathic diffuse form in the past 8 years. It could be important for patients to know which structures are occluded in selected circumstances, such as if they needed a central vein catheter for some other problem. Although the fungus resides in the soil, and the fungus is fertilized by bird droppings, birds are not themselves infected.

Symptoms can be present for years before diagnosis. Successful treatment of post histoplasmosis FM generally uses a mechanical approach, because there are no well documented responses to any pharmacologic agent. The epidemic was short-lived and influenza-like. Patients with histoplasmosis-related fibrosing mediastinitis present with signs of fatigue, shortness of breath dyspneacough with blood hemoptysis or without, chronic chest pleuritic pain and recurrent pulmonary infection.


In urban settings where the soil is disturbed, the fungus spores become air borne. Published with permission from Dr.

Fibrosing Mediastinitis | FAQ

In Idiopathic FM we do not really know which meddiastinitis first. Impairment of the immune system is usually manifested as excessive infections. Diagnosing either form of fibrosing mediastinitis is best accomplished by chest CT, a scan that shows the abnormal tissue in the mediastinum the space between the lungs.

When structures of only one lung are blocked, it can cause pain or coughing blood, but most patients do reasonably well long-term, as long as the contralateral lung has no problem.

Overall, histoplasmosis is considered usually to be an asymptomatic and clinically insignificant infection. Diagnosis Diagnosing either form of fibrosing mediastinitis is best accomplished by chest CT, a scan that shows the abnormal tissue in the mediastinum the space between the lungs. Reliable prevalence information is not available, but the affected population of histoplasmosis-related fibrosing mediastinitis is estimated to be several hundred people in the United States.

For more information, contact: Surgical resection is the most effective therapy for symptomatic mediastinal granuloma, and surgery in FM is high risk and rarely of therapeutic value in FM, so if a radiologist incorrectly diagnoses FM, that can delay or prevent appropriate surgery for MG. There are no proven causes of Idiopathic FM.

Understanding of each condition may be critical for correct diagnosis. What is the prognosis? Radiation therapy does have significant risk of injury to other organs and has not been studied for treatment of FM. The surgical removal was associated with rapid regrowth of new fibrotic tissue back to its former extent within just a few months of its removal. Superior vena cava syndrome, the swelling that develops in some patients due to obstruction of the vena cava, is a common symptom.

Some reports describe responses of individual patients to prednisone or tamoxifen, but we need better information about the magnitude of response, its duration, and for what percent of patients.

Last modified: December 31, 2019