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Epidemiological aspects and clinical outcome of patients with Rhinocerebral zygomycosis: a survey in a referral hospital in Iran

Vida Bozorgi
Mahshid Talebitaher
Neda Shalbaf
Nima Radmanesh
Fatemeh Nasri
Mohammad Mostafa Ansari-Ramandi


Introduction: no comprehensive reports have been published on epidemiological status of Rhinocerebral zygomycosis infections and its outcome in our population, Hence, the current study came to address epidemiological characteristics as well as clinical outcome of patients with Rhinocerebral zygomycosis infection referred to a referral hospital in Iran. Methods: this retrospective study was performed at the Rasoul-e-Akram hospital, an 800-bed tertiary care teaching hospital in Tehran, Iran. The pathology recorded charts were reviewed to identify all cases of Rhinocerebral zygomycosis from patients admitted between April 2007 and March 2014. A diagnosis of Rhinocerebral zygomycosis was based on histopathological assessments. Results: sixty four patients with Rhinocerebral zygomycosis were assessed. The mean age of the patients was 46.07 ± 22.59 years and 51.6% were female. Among those, 67.2% were diabetic, 26.6% were hypertensive and 29.7% had history of cancer. Different sinuses were infected in 73.4% of the patients. Out of all the patients 26.6% underwent surgical procedures and 17.2% were controlled medically. Extensive debridement was carried out in 40.6%. Neutropenia (<1500 cell/ µl) was revealed in 12.5%. In-hospital mortality rate was 35.9% and prolonged hospital stay (> 14 days) was found in 60.9%. According to the Multivariable logistic regression analysis, the main predictors of in-hospital mortality included female gender, advanced age, the presence of sinus infection, and neutropenia, while higher dosages of amphotericin administered had a protective role in preventing early mortality. In a similar Multivariate model, history of cancer could predict prolonged hospital stay, whereas using higher dose of amphotericin could lead to shortening length of hospital stay. Conclusion: there is no difference in demographic characteristics between our patients with Rhinocerebral zygomycosis and other nations. The presence of diabetes mellitus is closely associated with the presence of this infection. Sinus involvement is very common in those with Rhinocerebral zygomycosis leading to high mortality and morbidity. Besides female gender, advanced age, and presence of neutropenia was a major risk factor for increasing early mortality. The use of higher doses of antifungal treatment such as amphotericin can prevent both mortality and prolonged hospital stay. The cancer patients may need longer hospital stay because of needing comprehensive in-hospital treatment.

The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24