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May 1979

Rhinocerebral MucormycosisPremortem Diagnosis and Therapy

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine (Drs Meyers, Wormser, and Hirschman), and Department of Otolaryngology (Dr Blitzer), The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York.

Arch Intern Med. 1979;139(5):557-560. doi:10.1001/archinte.1979.03630420047016

The diagnosis of rhinocerebral mucormycosis is most often made at autopsy. We report a series of nine patients in whom the diagnosis was established premortem. Six of the patients had underlying diabetes mellitus and three had acute leukemia. Facial or ocular pain was the complaint found in all patients, and frequently was the initial symptom. The diagnosis was established by examination and culture of infected tissue obtained by biopsy. In seven patients, identification of hyphal elements in smears of biopsy material allowed the immediate institution of amphotericin B therapy. Four of the seven patients treated with amphotericin B survived. All surviving patients had underlying diabetes mellitus and had undergone surgical debridement. Early diagnosis leading to immediate institution of appropriate therapy is most important for survival of patients with mucormycosis.

(Arch Intern Med 139:557-560, 1979)