Incidental finding of Zygomyceteslike hyphae in the placenta. A case report

J Reprod Med. 1998 Mar;43(3):230-2.


Background: Zygomycetes is a class of saprophytic fungi causing opportunistic infections. These fungi can cause six distinct clinical manifestations, which can be fatal without rapid diagnosis and treatment. The fungi have a predilection for blood vessel invasion, causing thrombosis, infarction and necrosis of the tissue.

Case: A 25-year-old black woman, a drug abuser, delivered a female infant and the placenta en route to the hospital. The estimated gestational age of the infant was 35 weeks. The infant and mother had an unremarkable hospital course. Evaluation of the placenta revealed extensive involvement of the membranes, umbilical cord and chorionic plate by fungal hyphae without any surrounding inflammation. These hyphae were seen invading blood vessels, but there was no evidence of thrombosis or necrosis. The morphology of the hyphae was consistent with Zygomycetes. The mother was contacted and claimed to be well.

Conclusion: Only one case of placental involvement by Mucor has been published since 1966. Despite the observation of Zygomyceteslike hyphae in the placenta, both the mother and infant were reported to be doing well.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mucormycosis / diagnosis
  • Mucormycosis / pathology*
  • Placenta Diseases / microbiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious*
  • Pregnancy Outcome