Phaeohyphomycoses are darkly pigmented fungi that rarely cause infection in immunocompetent persons. In the past 2 decades these fungi increasingly have been reported as pathogens that cause significant morbidity and mortality in the immunocompromised host, especially solid organ transplant recipients. Clinical manifestations range from superficial lesions to disseminated infections. Exophiala spp. and Alternaria spp. account for the great majority of these infections. Treatment should include complete surgical excision of the lesions that are accessible combined with antifungal therapy, especially when invasive or systemic infection is present. Itraconazole usually suffices if only subcutaneous lesions are present; however, if the infection is systemic or it involves the central nervous system, the addition of amphotericin B is required. New investigational azoles also should be considered in these types of infections. This is a very heterogenous group of fungi and as such the sensitivities to antifungal agents is variable. Therefore, sensitivities should be obtained on every fungal isolate.
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