July 1997

Iron Overload Is a Risk Factor for Zygomycosis

Author Affiliations

From the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (Dr McNab) and the Department of Anatomical Pathology, St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy (Dr McKelvie), Melbourne, Australia.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1997;115(7):919-921. doi:10.1001/archopht.1997.01100160089018

Well-recognized risk factors for zygomycosis include diabetic ketoacidosis, immunocompromise, and deferoxamine therapy for iron or aluminum overload, usually in patients undergoing kidney dialysis. We report a case of fatal nasal-orbital-cerebral zygomycosis in an 82-year-old man with known myelodysplasia and well-controlled diabetes. He was not receiving deferoxamine. Despite radical surgery and amphotericin B therapy, he died; primary hemochromatosis with gross iron overload was found post mortem. Experimental evidence suggests iron overload without deferoxamine therapy may be a risk factor for zygomycosis; the findings in this case would support this hypothesis.