Disseminated phaeohyphomycosis: review of an emerging mycosis

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Feb 15;34(4):467-76. doi: 10.1086/338636. Epub 2002 Jan 9.


Disseminated phaeohyphomycosis is an uncommon infection caused by dematiaceous fungi, although the number of case reports about this infection has been increasing in recent years. A total of 72 cases are reviewed. Scedosporium prolificans is by far the most common cause. The presence of melanin in their cell walls may be a virulence factor for these fungi. The primary risk factor is decreased host immunity, although cases in apparently immunocompetent patients have been reported. Eosinophilia was seen in 11% of cases. Endocarditis is mostly reported on bioprosthetic valves, particularly those of porcine origin. The outcome of antifungal therapy remains poor, with an overall mortality rate of 79%. Special precautions taken for immunocompromised patients may help prevent exposure to fungi during the patients' period of greatest risk. The development of newer antifungal agents and combination therapy may hold promise in improving the management of these devastating infections in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endocarditis / complications
  • Eosinophilia / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycetoma / complications
  • Mycetoma / mortality
  • Mycetoma / transmission*
  • Mycoses / complications
  • Mycoses / mortality
  • Mycoses / transmission*
  • Risk Factors
  • Scedosporium*