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July 2004

Multiple Skin Necrotic Lesions—Diagnosis

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Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(7):877-882. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.7.877-b

The skin biopsy specimen showed areas of subepidermal hemorrhage with infarction. Within the dermis, numerous large nonseptate branching fungalhyphae were seen invading vessel walls, suggesting an angioinvasive zygomycosis.

Zygomycosis (or mucormycosis) is a rare form of invasive fungal infection that is increasingly being recognized in immunocompromised patients. The fungus,found in soil, belongs to the class Zygomycetes. Rhizopus, Absidia, and Mucor belong to the family Mucorales, hence the use of mucormycosis inthe literature. The organisms are characterized by broad-branching nonseptate hyphae.

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