Diagnosis and treatment of mucormycosis in patients with hematological malignancies: guidelines from the 3rd European Conference on Infections in Leukemia (ECIL 3)

Haematologica. 2013 Apr;98(4):492-504. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2012.065110. Epub 2012 Sep 14.


Mucormycosis is an emerging cause of infectious morbidity and mortality in patients with hematologic malignancies. However, there are no recommendations to guide diagnosis and management. The European Conference on Infections in Leukemia assigned experts in hematology and infectious diseases to develop evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of mucormycosis. The guidelines were developed using the evidence criteria set forth by the American Infectious Diseases Society and the key recommendations are summarized here. In the absence of validated biomarkers, the diagnosis of mucormycosis relies on histology and/or detection of the organism by culture from involved sites with identification of the isolate at the species level (no grading). Antifungal chemotherapy, control of the underlying predisposing condition, and surgery are the cornerstones of management (level A II). Options for first-line chemotherapy of mucormycosis include liposomal amphotericin B and amphotericin B lipid complex (level B II). Posaconazole and combination therapy of liposomal amphotericin B or amphotericin B lipid complex with caspofungin are the options for second line-treatment (level B II). Surgery is recommended for rhinocerebral and skin and soft tissue disease (level A II). Reversal of underlying risk factors (diabetes control, reversal of neutropenia, discontinuation/taper of glucocorticosteroids, reduction of immunosuppressants, discontinuation of deferroxamine) is important in the treatment of mucormycosis (level A II). The duration of antifungal chemotherapy is not defined but guided by the resolution of all associated symptoms and findings (no grading). Maintenance therapy/secondary prophylaxis must be considered in persistently immunocompromised patients (no grading).

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Therapy / methods
  • Evidence-Based Practice / methods
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Humans
  • Mucormycosis / complications
  • Mucormycosis / diagnosis*
  • Mucormycosis / therapy*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / methods


  • Antifungal Agents