Mucormycosis is an infection caused by a fungus. It affects the sinuses, brain, or lungs. The infection occurs most often in people who have a compromised immune system. This is a serious infection. The prognosis is usually poor, even with treatment.
The fungus is often found in soil and decaying plants. It will not make most people sick. People are more likely to get the infection if they have a weakened immune systems.
The following factors increase your chance of developing mucormycosis:
- Having a weakened immune system caused by:
- Having a ]]>sinus infection]]>
- Having ]]>pneumonia]]>
- Having mucormycosis of the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and kidneys
Symptoms of infections of the sinuses and the brain (rhinocerebral mucormycosis):
- Acute sinusitis]]>
- Swollen or protruding eyes
- Dark nasal scabs
- Redness of the skin over the sinuses
Symptoms of infections of the lungs (pulmonary mucormycosis):
- Cough; occasionally coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms of infections of the gastrointestinal tract (gastrointestinal mucormycosis):
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting blood
Symptoms of infections in the kidneys (renal mucormycosis):
- Pain in the side between the upper abdomen and the back
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include the following:
- Aggressive surgery—to remove all of the dead and/or infected tissue; early surgery may improve the prognosis
- Antifungal therapy—IV antifungal medications may be used to kill the fungus throughout the body
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Canadian Lung Association
Fungal infections. National Foundation for Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www.nfid.org/publications/fungal_archive/fungal.html . Accessed April 15, 2007.
Mucormycosis. The University of Tennessee Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.utmedicalcenter.org/encyclopedia/?file=000649sym.htm . Accessed April 15, 2007.
Radha S, Tameem T, Fernandez DK, Satyanarayana G. Gastric zygomycosis (mucormycosis). The Internet J Pathol . 2007;5(2). Available at: http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlFilePath=journals/ijpa/vol5n2/zygo.xml . Accessed April 15, 2007.
Last reviewed January 2009 by ]]>David L. Horn, MD, FACP]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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