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August 2, 1976

Pulmonary Phycomycosis

Author Affiliations

Wadsworth Veterans Administration Hospital UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles

JAMA. 1976;236(5):446. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270050010002

To the Editor.—  The article, "Pulmonary Phycomycosis Without Obvious Predisposing Factors" (235:1256, 1976), by Drs Record and Ginder deserves comment. Although the authors correctly note that patients with this infection normally suffer from severe underlying disease,1 we were unable to find a case of phycomycosis (actually mucromycosis caused by any member of the family Mucoraceae), unless (1) the report was erroneous and confused Mucoraceae with Entomophthoracae infection, or (2) the patient infected with Mucoraceae (Rhizopus, Mucor, Absidia) indeed had a subtle underlying disorder, such as biochemical evidence of diabetes mellitus, or subsequently was shown to be compromised.2I daresay that since no glucose tolerance test result was reported for the patient infected with Rhizopus, his condition cannot be considered free of a predisposing factor, although the autopsy disclosed no underlying disorder. The role of the previous bacterial pneumonia is problematic.