Primary cutaneous mucormycosis in infants and neonates: case report and review of the literature

Daniel Oh, David Notrica
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2002, 37 (11): 1607-11
A case of angioinvasive cutaneous mucormycosis in a premature infant, eventually requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy, is described. The fungal infection began at the site of a brachial artery catheter that had been covered with an adhesive dressing in the left antecubital fossa. The infection progressed rapidly over a 5-day period, and a left arm amputation was required. Fungal hyphae were present at the margins of resection. The patient eventually had disseminated mucormycosis and died. A second case of cutaneous mucormycosis in another premature infant also is presented. This infant had the infection at an intravenous catheter site. Rapid initiation of surgical debridement of the wound and amphotericin B therapy resulted in patient survival. Eighteen reported cases of cutaneous mucormycosis in neonates were found and are reviewed. Prematurity, low birth weight, broad-spectrum antibiotics, corticosteroid therapy, and local trauma to the skin site were common risk factors. Only 7 of the 18 patients survived. Therapy consisted of local debridement and intravenous amphotericin B. High index of suspicion, early diagnosis, and rapid institution of therapy can improve survival rate. The key to prevention appears to be appropriate skin care.

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