Mucormycosis (fungal infection)

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Mucormycosis is a fungal infection of the sinuses, brain, or lungs that occurs mostly in people with weakened immune systems. Conditions most commonly associated with mucormycosis include diabetes (usually poorly controlled diabetes), chronic steroid use, metabolic acidosis, organ transplantation, leukemia, lymphoma, treatment with deferoxamine, and AIDS.

Syndromes associated with mucormycosis include: rhinocerebral infection (infection of sinuses and brain), pulmonary mucormycosis (lung involvement) -- pneumonia that gets worse quickly and may spread to the chest cavity, heart, and brain, mucormycosis of the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and kidneys

Causes and Risk factors

Mucormycosis is caused by common fungi frequently found in the soil and in decaying vegetation. Most individuals are exposed to these fungi on a daily basis, but people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infection.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Surgery should be done immediately to remove all dead and infected tissue. Surgery can lead to disfiguration because it may involve removal of the palate, parts of the nose, or parts of the eye. Without such aggressive surgery, however, chances of survival are greatly decreased. ...