Unusual case presentation of fungal ball infection causing diabetes insipidus and seizure disorder

Radiol Case Rep. 2021 Jan 26;16(4):789-794. doi: 10.1016/j.radcr.2021.01.030. eCollection 2021 Apr.


Sphenoid sinus fungal ball (FB) is a noninvasive fungal infection affecting predominantly immunocompetent middle-aged female patients. Common clinical manifestations include headaches, postnasal drip, and nasal discharge. In this case report, we present a 56-year-old female with a 10-year history of occasional dizziness, vertigo, nystagmus, feeling disoriented and feeling her eyes moving rapidly. Complaints of restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, stress and anger were also present. Due to the nonspecific nature of her symptoms, a diagnosis of sphenoid sinus FB was overlooked. Definitive diagnosis was established after performing a nasal endoscopy and subsequent histopathological examination of the collected sinus tissues. The histopathology report disclosed Aspergillosis FB with chronic sinusitis. Due to the decade long delay in diagnosis and proper treatment, septal wall collapse occurred, with the patient developing diabetes insipidus with hyponatremia that led to a massive seizure and fall, resulting in multiple disc herniations. Surgical removal of the FA elicited a complete resolution of her symptoms and a full recovery. Although fungal rhinosinusitis is a well recognized spectrum of diseases by ENT specialists, through this case report we hope to draw attention to this particular pathological entity within fungal infections, while simultaneously underlining the broad spectrum of symptoms with which it may manifest and the importance of including FA infections when considering the differential diagnosis in patients with long-standing chronic sinusitis.

Keywords: Aspergillus spp; Chronic rhinosinusitis; Fungal ball; Fungal rhinosinusitis; Sphenoid sinus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports