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May 1971

Opportunistic Fungal Infection of the Burn Wound With Phycomycetes and Aspergillus: A Clinical-Pathologic Review

Author Affiliations

Fort Sam Houston, Tex
From the US Army Institute of Surgical Research, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Tex.

Arch Surg. 1971;102(5):476-482. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350050042014

Thirty cases of invasive infection of the burn wound with opportunistic fungi of the Phycomycetes and Aspergillus species occurred. Mycotic invasion of the burn wound has a wide clinical spectrum including focal and multifocal infection, deep invasion with extensive tissue destruction, and systemic dissemination. Nine patients (30%) died from fungal invasion. Of 15 survivors, seven (46.7%) required amputation to eradicate disease. Prompt, adequate biopsy of any suspicious area of the burn wound must be processed immediately. The observation of hyphae invading viable tissue associated with an acute inflammatory response establishes the diagnosis. Immediate wide surgical excision, which may include amputation, is necessary to eradicate this potentially lethal infection.

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