Background and objectives: Rhinocerebral mucormycosis is an opportunistic invasive fungal infection with elevated mortality rate, caused by fungus of the order Mucorales, which generally affects immunocompromised patients, poorly controlled diabetes and neoplastic diseases. The infection usually initiates in the nasal cavities and rapidly extends to the maxillary sinus, orbits and Central Nervous System (CNS) either haematogenously or by local invasion. The objective is to alert the medical community about an increasing pathology, with a high morbidity and mortality, which affects mainly immunocompromised patients.
Methods: 78 years old male, with a personal history of poorly controlled diabetes which attended the emergency department because of a one week history of right hemifacial swelling.
Results: At the 10th day of admission, the patient showed an ulcerative lesion of the right hemiface. A CT scan showed maxillary, sphenoidal and fronto-ethmoidal filling and an erosion of papyracea lamina, an incisional biopsy was compatible with mucormycosis and the patient was started on amphotericin B. The patient deceased 20 days later because of CNS invasion.
Conclusions: This case alerts to an opportunistic, emergent and highly fatal infection, most prevalent in diabetic patients. Early diagnosis and therapeutics are keys to a better prognosis.
Key words: mucormycosis; diabetes; maxillary-sinus-infection