Risk Factors of Rhino Orbital Mucormycosis

Cureus. 2022 Dec 30;14(12):e33145. doi: 10.7759/cureus.33145. eCollection 2022 Dec.


Purpose: To determine the clinical presentation and risk factors associated with rhino orbital mucormycosis.

Introduction: Mucormycosis is a rapidly progressive fungal infection caused by filamentous fungi in the Mucoraceae family. In large numbers, they release spores into the air, and humans get exposed through inhalation. The spores inoculate in the paranasal sinuses and nasopharynx and subsequently spread to the orbit and intracranial cavity. The present COVID-19 pandemic has witnessed a resurgence of rhino-orbital mucormycosis cases, mainly seen in patients with immunocompromised status. Hence, our study evaluated the risk factors and clinical features of rhino orbital mucormycosis.

Methods: This was a prospective, single-center, cross-sectional study. Patients attending tertiary care centers fulfilling the inclusion criteria were evaluated with a detailed history including sociodemographic profile, occupation, history of fever, COVID-19 infection, steroid or immunosuppressant use, organ transplants, diabetes mellitus and use of oxygen (O2). A complete ophthalmic evaluation was performed, including best-corrected visual acuity, anterior segment evaluation with slit lamp biomicroscopy, and posterior segment evaluation using indirect ophthalmoscopy. Computed Tomography (CT) scan of paranasal sinuses was done for all the patients, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for a few patients if indicated. Intraoperatively, samples were sent for Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) stain while debridement and patients with positive results were included in the study.

Results: Forty participants were included, out of which 34 (85%) were males and six (15%) were females. The mean age of the patients was 51.75 years. Out of 40 patients, 29 (72.5%) had h/o COVID-19 infection, 30 (75%) were known type 2 diabetes mellitus, 25 (62.5%) had a h/o steroid intake and 25 (62.5%) had a history of O2 use. 17 (42.5%) patients presented with low vision, out of which 15 had no light perception. 30 (75%) patients had ptosis, 22 (55%) patients presented with proptosis, 15 (37.5%) patients had limited ocular motility, 11 (27.5%) had complete ophthalmoplegia, and 11 (27.5%) patients had central retinal artery occlusion.

Conclusion: Rhino orbital Mucormycosis is more prevalent in patients with COVID-19 infection, especially those who have used steroids and oxygen and with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Early presentation with treatment can prevent further ocular morbidity.

Keywords: corticosteroids; covid 19; diabetes mellitus; mucormycosis; pandemic.