Invasive fungal rhinosinusitis in adult patients: Our experience in diagnosis and management

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2016 Apr;44(4):512-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2015.12.016. Epub 2016 Jan 9.


Background: This paper describes our experience in the management of acute and chronic invasive fungal rhinosinusitis (IFRS) in adults.

Methods: Medical files of all patients aged >18 years treated in our institutions for IFRS from 2002 to 2013 were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: A total of 18 cases (10 acute and 8 chronic) were recorded. In acute form, haematological malignancies represented the principal comorbidity (100%), while in chronic form this was diabetes mellitus (87.5%). All patients received systemic antifungal agents. Endoscopic sinus surgery was performed in 16/18 patients (88.9%). Among patients with an acute IFRS, 4/10 died of fungal infection (40%), on the other side 2/8 patients with chronic IFRS died of the evolution of the mycosis (25%).

Conclusions: Acute and chronic IFRS are different entities: in acute form, prognosis is poor, so therapy should be promptly performed, although host immune status and evolution of the haematological disease are key factors for the outcome. In chronic form, a wide surgical excision of the disease is recommended in order to obtain a complete removal of fungal infection. In both forms, early clinical findings are non-specific and ambiguous, so diagnosis depends on a high index of suspicion, taking into account predisposing factors.

Keywords: Aspergillus; Endoscopic sinus surgery; Fungal rhinosinusitis; Mucor; Mycosis; Skull base.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Mycoses* / diagnosis
  • Mycoses* / drug therapy
  • Paranasal Sinuses
  • Rhinitis / diagnosis*
  • Rhinitis / drug therapy
  • Rhinitis / microbiology
  • Sinusitis / diagnosis*
  • Sinusitis / drug therapy*
  • Sinusitis / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents