The spectrum of orbital aspergillosis: a clinicopathological review

Surv Ophthalmol. Sep-Oct 1996;41(2):142-54. doi: 10.1016/s0039-6257(96)80004-x.

Abstract

Orbital aspergillosis is an uncommon but serious infection that may first present to the ophthalmologist. Usually arising from the paranasal sinuses, it may present in manifold ways within the orbit. Some presentations, such as optic nerve involvement, can respond to systemic corticosteroids, leading to delays in diagnosis and possibly iatrogenic potentiation of the infectious process. In this review, pertinent clinical and radiographic findings are discussed, and the literature is summarized. Classic approaches to therapy include local treatment, debridement, and systemic amphotericin B. We review novel approaches to treating orbital aspergillosis and detail a flow-chart for its management. Four patients from the spectrum of orbital aspergillosis are also described: initially presenting as an infection of an exenteration socket, a complex dacryocystitis, and optic nerve tumor, and post-operative periorbital swelling. Physicians should be familiar with the clinical spectrum of disease and the variable presentation of this infection, as early diagnosis and rapid institution of appropriate therapy are crucial elements in the management of invasive aspergillosis. In the neutropenic or otherwise immunocompromised patient, a high index of suspicion must be maintained as delays in diagnosis of fulminant aspergillosis may lead to overwhelming and rapidly progressive infection. Obtaining adequate diagnostic material for pathological and microbiological examination is critical. Newer methods of therapy, particularly itraconazole and liposomal amphotericin B, may be beneficial in selected patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis / etiology
  • Aspergillosis / pathology*
  • Aspergillus flavus / isolation & purification
  • Aspergillus niger / isolation & purification
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / etiology
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orbit / microbiology
  • Orbital Diseases / drug therapy
  • Orbital Diseases / microbiology
  • Orbital Diseases / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed

Substances

  • Antifungal Agents