Granulomas are most commonly associated with infections, especially the fungal infection histoplasmosis, states Mayo Clinic. They are also associated with a primary immunodeficiency disease known as chronic granulomatous disease, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Histoplasmosis, which primarily affects the lungs and is associated with the upper Midwest and Ohio Valley, is the most common cause of granulomas in the United States, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of the disease are rare, and doctors most commonly diagnose it when taking chest X-rays for other reasons. Although they may resemble cancer on an X-ray, granulomas associated with histoplasmosis are benign. Histoplasmosis normally does not require monitoring or treatment.
In cases of CGD, granulomas may develop due to the body's wounds being unable to properly heal, notes the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. With this disease, the body cannot fight off infections that require the natural production of hydrogen peroxide. Infections may affect the lungs, skin, lymph nodes, bones and liver. Doctors diagnose the disease by measuring the body's levels of hydrogen peroxide, and treatment includes the use of preventative antibiotics. In severe cases, a bone marrow transplant may be necessary. Patients with CGD must avoid swimming in nonchlorinated water, cleaning cellars, repotting plants and mulching the yard.