Fatal mucormycosis presenting as an appendiceal mass with metastatic spread to the liver during chemotherapy-induced granulocytopenia

Scand J Infect Dis. 1990;22(4):499-501. doi: 10.3109/00365549009027083.


Opportunistic fungal infections occur with increasing frequency during chemotherapy induced granulocytopenia. A 27-year-old woman developed mucormycosis in the ileocecal region with fatal dissemination to the liver while receiving consolidation therapy for acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia. The infection occurred during a period of decreased colonization resistance in the intestinal tract. Early symptoms were high fever unresponsive to broad spectrum antibiotics, severe pain in the right lower abdominal quadrant and diarrhoea. This was followed by an infiltrate in the right abdomen, ileus, and icterus. Diagnosis was established in the living patient by thin needle aspiration from affected liver tissue. Giemsa's stain and fungal cultures revealed Mucor indicus. The fatal outcome of disseminated mucormycosis justifies a high index of suspicion and a maximal (invasive) diagnostic effort as localised infections might be cured by resection and amphotericin B.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agranulocytosis / chemically induced*
  • Agranulocytosis / complications
  • Amphotericin B / administration & dosage
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Appendix*
  • Cecal Diseases / complications
  • Female
  • Flucytosine / administration & dosage
  • Flucytosine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Liver Diseases / complications*
  • Liver Diseases / microbiology
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Mucormycosis / complications*
  • Mucormycosis / diagnosis
  • Mucormycosis / pathology
  • Opportunistic Infections / complications*
  • Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • Opportunistic Infections / pathology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy


  • Amphotericin B
  • Flucytosine