COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis. A retrospective analysis of clinical features and treatment outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: The conventional management of rhino-orbito-cerebral (ROC) mucormycosis includes control of metabolic abnormality, administration of amphotericin B and surgery that spans simple sinus clearance, radical debridement and orbital exenteration. Recent literature includes anecdotal descriptions of successful treatment with conservative management of involved orbits. We evaluated the clinical features and outcome of treatment for the different stages of ROC mucormycosis.

METHOD: In this retrospective case series, 34 case records of patients with a histopathological diagnosis of ROC mucormycosis treated between 1992 and 2000 were reviewed. Three clinical stages and three treatment groups were identified. Patients with limited sino-nasal disease (Clinical stage I) underwent sino-nasal debridement (Treatment group A). Patients with limited rhino-orbital disease (Clinical stage II) underwent either sino-nasal debridement alone (Treatment group A) or orbital exenteration in addition to sino-nasal debridement (Treatment group B). Patients with rhino-orbito-cerebral disease (Clinical stage III) did not undergo any surgical procedure (Treatment group C). Thirty-three patients received intravenous amphotericin B. Outcome for each group was measured as "Treatment success" (disease free, stable patient with metabolic abnormality under control) and "Treatment failure" (progression of disease with worsening general condition or mortality due to the disease).

RESULTS: Uncontrolled diabetes in 30 (88.2%) of 34 patients was the commonest underlying disease and 16 (53.3%) of 30 diabetics had ketoacidosis. Chronic renal failure (n = 4), hepatic disease (n = 3) and idiopathic thrombocytopenia (n = 1) were the other underlying diseases. Eleven patients had stage I disease, 16 patients had stage II disease and seven patients had stage III disease. All 11 patients with stage I disease received treatment A; of 16 patients with stage II disease, 7 received treatment A and the remaining with stage III disease received treatment B; 7 patients with stage II disease received treatment C. Ten of 11 patients (91%) with stage I disease had treatment success. In patients with stage II disease, 7 of 7 (100%) with treatment A and 1 of 9 (11.1%) with treatment B had treatment success. All seven patients with stage III disease had treatment failure.

CONCLUSION: Debridement of the sinuses is necessary in all cases of rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis. Diagnosis in the early stage needs a high degree of suspicion. There is a definite role for retention of orbits in patients whose metabolic derangement is rapidly controlled and orbital involvement is non-progressive.

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