An aggressive multidisciplinary approach reduces mortality in rhinocerebral mucormycosis

Sheri K. Palejwala, Tirdad T. Zangeneh, Stephen A. Goldstein, G. Michael Lemole

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Rhinocerebral mucormycosis occurs in immunocompromised hosts with uncontrolled diabetes, solid organ transplants, and hematologic malignancies. Primary disease is in the paranasal sinuses but often progresses intracranially, via direct extension or angioinvasion. Rhinocerebral mucormycosis is rapidly fatal with a mortality rate of 85%, even when maximally treated with surgical debridement, antifungal therapy, and correction of underlying processes. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients with rhinocerebral mucormycosis from 2011 to 2014. These patients were analyzed for symptoms, surgical and medical management, and outcome. We found four patients who were diagnosed with rhinocerebral mucormycosis. All patients underwent rapid aggressive surgical debridement and were started on antifungal therapy on the day of diagnosis. Overall, we observed a mortality rate of 50%. Results: An early aggressive multidisciplinary approach with surgical debridement, antifungal therapy, and correction of underlying disease have been shown to improve survivability in rhinocerebral mucormycosis. Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach to rhinocerebral mucormycosis with otolaryngology, neurosurgery, and ophthalmology, infectious disease and medical intensivists can help reduce mortality in an otherwise largely fatal disease. Even despite these measures, outcomes remain poor, and a high index of suspicion must be maintained in at-risk populations, in order to rapidly execute a multifaceted approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA36
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Invasive fungus
  • Mucor
  • Rhinocerebral mucormycosis
  • Skull base
  • Zygomycetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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