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October 1967

Cephalic Mucormycosis (Phycomycosis): A Case With Survival

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Neurological Clinical Research Center, Department of Neurology, and the Mycology Laboratory, Department of Dermatology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University and Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York.

Arch Neurol. 1967;17(4):379-386. doi:10.1001/archneur.1967.00470280045005

MUCORMYCOSIS, or phycomycosis, is a tissue infection by saprophytic fungi of the class Phycomycetes. It occurs in patients with debilitating diseases or following administration of adrenocorticosterioids, antitumor agents, or antibiotics. Patients with diabetic acidosis seem to be especially susceptible to mucormycosis.1 The common sites of initial invasion are the paranasal sinuses, lungs, or gastrointestinal tract.

Prior to 1943, 30 cases were collected from the literature, four involving the central nervous system.2 Since 1943, about 160 cases have been reported, 45 with cephalic involvement: paranasal sinus, orbit, cranial nerve, brain, or meninges.3-15 Death directly related to infection occurs in approximately 50% of all cases. To date only eight patients have survived cephalic infection, and all but one had residual neurological deficits (Table). The present report describes the ninth patient who has survived cephalic mucormycosis.

Report of a Case  This patient (P.H. 159-28-88) had recognized diabetes mellitus since

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