Invasive fungal rhinosinusitis in adult patients: Our experience in diagnosis and management

Fabio Pagella, Francesca De Bernardi, Daniela Dalla Gasperina, Alessandro Pusateri, Elina Matti, Irene Avato, Caterina Cavanna, Patrizia Zappasodi, Maurizio Bignami, Elena Bernardini, Paolo Antonio Grossi, Paolo Castelnuovo

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Background This paper describes our experience in the management of acute and chronic invasive fungal rhinosinusitis (IFRS) in adults. Methods Medical files of all patients aged >18 years treated in our institutions for IFRS from 2002 to 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. Results A total of 18 cases (10 acute and 8 chronic) were recorded. In acute form, haematological malignancies represented the principal comorbidity (100%), while in chronic form this was diabetes mellitus (87.5%). All patients received systemic antifungal agents. Endoscopic sinus surgery was performed in 16/18 patients (88.9%). Among patients with an acute IFRS, 4/10 died of fungal infection (40%), on the other side 2/8 patients with chronic IFRS died of the evolution of the mycosis (25%). Conclusions Acute and chronic IFRS are different entities: in acute form, prognosis is poor, so therapy should be promptly performed, although host immune status and evolution of the haematological disease are key factors for the outcome. In chronic form, a wide surgical excision of the disease is recommended in order to obtain a complete removal of fungal infection. In both forms, early clinical findings are non-specific and ambiguous, so diagnosis depends on a high index of suspicion, taking into account predisposing factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-520
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Aspergillus
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery
  • Fungal rhinosinusitis
  • Mucor
  • Mycosis
  • Skull base

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery


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