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Mucormycosis in two community hospitals and the role of infectious disease consultation: a case series

Authors Dai Y, Walker JW, Halloush RA, Khasawneh FA

Received 9 August 2013

Accepted for publication 21 September 2013

Published 30 October 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 833—838

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S52718

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Yue Dai,1 James W Walker,1 Ruba A Halloush,2 Faisal A Khasawneh3

1Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 2Amarillo Pathology Group, 3Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX, USA

Background: Mucorales are ubiquitous filamentous fungi that can cause a devastating, invasive infection. This order has become an increasingly important pathogen during the last two decades, due to the dramatic increase in patients with predisposing factors. The aim of this retrospective study was to report the clinical characteristics, therapeutic options, and outcomes of patients diagnosed with mucormycosis in community hospitals in Amarillo, Texas, and to reflect on the role of infectious disease (ID) physicians in managing this potentially life-threatening problem.
Patients and methods: This was a retrospective chart review of patients hospitalized with mucormycosis in two community hospitals in Amarillo between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2011.
Results: Ten patients were diagnosed with mucormycosis during the study period, with a mean age of 58.8 years. There were five cases of pulmonary infection, two cases of cutaneous infection, two cases of rhinocerebral infection, and one case of gastrointestinal infection. Poorly controlled diabetes was the most common risk factor, identified in six patients, followed by hematological malignancy, immunosuppression, and trauma. ID physicians were consulted in all cases, albeit late in some cases. Nine patients received antifungal therapy, and five patients received surgical debridement. Lipid formulations of amphotericin B were prescribed for eight patients, used alone in two cases, and combined with caspofungin and posaconazole in one and five cases, respectively. One patient was treated with posaconazole alone. Eight patients were discharged from the hospital alive. The mortality rate at 6-month follow-up was 40%.
Conclusion: Mucormycosis is an emerging fungal infection that continues to carry significant morbidity and mortality. At-risk patient populations are on the rise, and include those with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. Early diagnosis, in consultation with an ID physician, and an aggressive combined approach with surgical debridement and combined antifungal therapy is pivotal in improving patients' outcomes.

Keywords: mucormycosis, treatment, outcome, community hospitals

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