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Mucormycosis--early diagnosis and treatment.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this retrospective study was to analyse the data of patients with rhino-orbital-cerebral mucormycosis for predisposing factors, diagnosis, treatment and survival rate. The role of frozen section in early diagnosis and use of nasal endoscopy in diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients has also been examined.

DESIGN: Retrospective case series.

SETTING: University Teaching Hospital.

METHODS: The case notes of 9 patients with diagnosis of mucormycosis who presented from 1973 to 2001 were examined. The data for predisposing factors, signs/symptoms, histological diagnosis, radiological intervention, medical and surgical treatment and final outcome was analysed.

RESULTS: There were 9 patients with mucormycoses. Early diagnosis was made by endoscopic examination and frozen section in 5 patients, which was later confirmed by histology. Treatment included parental and/or local amphotericin, hyperbaric oxygen and debridement either by endoscopic or external approach, with or without orbital exenteration. This resulted in an overall survival of 5 patients.

CONCLUSION: Frozen section diagnosis allows for early therapy since successful treatment depends on systemic amphotericin, surgical debridement and treatment of underlying predisposing factors. Nasal endoscopy is useful in diagnosis, endoscopic debridement and follow up of patients.

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