Mucormycosis - Signs and Symptoms

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What are symptoms and signs of mucormycosis?

Most of the symptoms of mucormycosis do not differ to any major extent between the various fungal causes; most authorities describe the signs and symptoms of the disease according to the predominant or initial body area that is infected. Some patients have more than one body area infected. The following is a list of signs and symptoms (note that many authors prefer the term mucormycosis instead of zygomycosis since the majority of fungi, when identified, are from the Mucoraceae family of fungi):

  • Rhinocerebral mucormycosis: fever, headache, reddish and swollen skin over nose and sinuses, dark scabbing in the nose by the eye(s), visual problems, eye(s) swelling, facial pain


  • Pulmonary (lung) mucormycosis: fever, coughing sometimes with bloody or dark fluid production, shortness of breath


  • GI mucormycosis: diffuse abdominal pain, bloody and sometimes dark vomitus, abdominal distension


  • Renal mucormycosis: fever, flank pain


  • Cutaneous mucormycosis: initially, reddish and swollen skin often adjacent to an area of skin trauma, that becomes an ulcer with a dark center and sharply defined edges


  • Disseminated mucormycosis: initially may have any of the above symptoms; as the disease spreads to other organs, headaches, fever, and mental-status changes occur

Although these symptoms suggest that a patient may have mucormycosis, they are not definitive. In addition, they may not develop very quickly because it may take a few days to over a week in many people before they develop, and when they do initially, it is not unusual to ascribe the symptoms to causes other than fungi (often to secondary bacterial infections). Consequently, the fungal diagnosis may be delayed (see diagnosis section below).

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Comment from: lucyjune, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I had a sinus infection, but had severe pain that pain medication was not relieving. By the end of the week I had numbness in the right side of my face and my face was swollen. On that Sunday I could not open my eye and went to the emergency room. The doctor still thought it was a sinus infection and sent me home. I went back 5 hours later, dizzy and vomiting. I was admitted and they did a biopsy of my sinus. Cultures were done and the doctor had never actually seen the disease but had read about it. They transferred me to Los Angeles and another biopsy was done that confirmed the disease. Surgery was performed and my right eye was removed.

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