Rhinocerebral mucormycosis: results of aggressive surgical debridement and amphotericin B

Laryngoscope. 1988 Dec;98(12):1339-42. doi: 10.1288/00005537-198812000-00011.


Rhinocerebral mucormycosis is a fulminant, devastating fungal disease. The use of amphotericin B, combined with aggressive surgical debridement, has increased survival rates from approximately 20% to 70%. Eleven patients with this rare disease have been treated over the past 6 years. Therapy with amphotericin B was begun in all patients as soon as the diagnosis of mucormycosis was suspected. Seven patients underwent aggressive surgical debridement; all seven had disease involving the sphenoethmoidal complex, requiring external ethmoidectomy with or without sphenoidotomy. Six patients had maxillary sinus disease, requiring Caldwell-Luc antrostomy or maxillectomy. Three patients required orbital exenteration. Surgery was performed within 24 hours of diagnosis on all but two of our patients. Despite prompt diagnosis, aggressive surgical debridement, therapy with amphotericin B, and correction of metabolic acidosis, our mortality rate was 82%. Rhinocerebral mucormycosis remains a rapidly progressive, frequently fatal disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Diseases / drug therapy
  • Brain Diseases / surgery*
  • Child
  • Ethmoid Bone / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinus / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucormycosis / drug therapy
  • Mucormycosis / surgery*
  • Nose Diseases / drug therapy
  • Nose Diseases / surgery*
  • Sphenoid Bone / surgery


  • Amphotericin B