Kidney nontumor
Bacterial infections

Topic Completed: 17 November 2018

Minor changes: 18 February 2020

Copyright: 2002-2020,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Actinomycosis [title] kidney pathology

Nikhil Sangle, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 1,149
Page views in 2020 to date: 460
Cite this page: Sangle N. Actinomycosis. website. Accessed June 1st, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Actinomyces are anaerobic, gram positive, non acid fast filamentous bacteria that are normal flora in mouth, vagina, GI tract
  • Cause chronic suppurative and granulomatous disease of cervicofacial, thoracic or abdominal region
  • Sometimes called the most "misdiagnosed disease" because abscesses can mimic malignancy and may lead to unnecessary surgical resections (South Med J 2004;97:316, Am J Surg Pathol 2000;66:85)
  • Actinomyces israelii: usual cause of Actinomyces abscesses; also most common cause of disseminated actinomycosis, secondary to GI perforation (diverticulitis, appendicitis) or procedures, IUD, aspiration, poor oral hygiene / dental procedures
Case reports
  • Antibiotics; possibly nephrectomy
Gross images

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Actinomycosis of kidney

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Marked acute and chronic inflammation with occasional "sulfur granules"
Microscopic (histologic) images

Case of the Week #244
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11 year old girl

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Retroperitoneal mass

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