Mucormycosis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection. It may be caused by infection with various fungi from the class, zygomycetes. The organism is widely distributed through air, water and soil. Mucormycosis occurs predominately in the immunocompromised patient, burn patients and those on steroid therapy. Rhinocerebral mucormycosis is an infection of the nose, eyes, and brain.
Mucormycosis is an opportunistic infection that typically develops in patients with weakened immune systems, diabetes, kidney failure, organ transplants, or chemotherapy. Mucormycosis is also known as zygomycosis.
Mucormycosis is caused by common fungi frequently found in the soil and amongst decaying vegetation. Most individuals are exposed to these fungi on a daily basis -- but people with immune disorders may be more susceptible to infection. Six forms of infection have been identified and include rhinocerebral, pulmonary, cutaneous, gastrointestinal, central nervous system, and disseminated disease.
Conditions most commonly associated with mucormycosis include diabetes mellitus, chronic steroid use, metabolic acidosis, organ transplantation, leukemia/lymphoma, treatment with deferoxamine, and AIDS. In immunocompromised patients, normal body defenses may fail, leading to spore germination and the development of hyphae, which extend into the blood vessels with resultant ischemia and necrosis of adjacent organs.
Mucormycosis of the nasal cavity and sinuses usually is associated with fever. There is pain in the area affected. As the disease spreads, it can produce double vision, red eye, and bulging eye.
The other symptoms of the mucormycosis may be included:
Treatment is usually begun without waiting for laboratory reports because of the rapid spread and high mortality rate of the disease. It includes intravenous amphotericin B.
The mainstay of treatment for mucormycosis is early surgical intervention to remove all dead and infected tissue, along with intravenous antifungal therapy.
However, chances of survival are greatly decreased without this aggressive intervention.
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