Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
In this Article
- Mucormycosis (zygomycosis) facts
- What is mucormycosis?
- What causes mucormycosis?
- What are risk factors for mucormycosis?
- What are symptoms and signs of mucormycosis?
- How is mucormycosis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment of mucormycosis?
- What are complications of mucormycosis?
- What is the prognosis of mucormycosis?
- Can mucormycosis be prevented?
- What research is being done on mucormycosis?
- Where can people find more information on mucormycosis?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What are symptoms and signs of mucormycosis?
Most of the symptoms of mucormycosis do not differ to any major extent between the various fungal causes; most authorities describe the signs and symptoms of the disease according to the predominant or initial body area that is infected. Some patients have more than one body area infected. The following is a list of signs and symptoms (note that many authors prefer the term mucormycosis instead of zygomycosis since the majority of fungi, when identified, are from the Mucoraceae family of fungi):
- Rhinocerebral mucormycosis: fever, headache, reddish and swollen skin over nose and sinuses, dark scabbing in the nose by the eye(s), visual problems, eye(s) swelling, facial pain
- Pulmonary (lung) mucormycosis: fever, coughing sometimes with bloody or dark fluid production, shortness of breath
- GI mucormycosis: diffuse abdominal pain, bloody and sometimes dark vomitus, abdominal distension
- Renal mucormycosis: fever, flank pain
- Cutaneous mucormycosis: initially, reddish and swollen skin often adjacent to an area of skin trauma, that becomes an ulcer with a dark center and sharply defined edges
- Disseminated mucormycosis: initially may have any of the above symptoms; as the disease spreads to other organs, headaches, fever, and mental-status changes occur
Although these symptoms suggest that a patient may have mucormycosis, they are not definitive. In addition, they may not develop very quickly because it may take a few days to over a week in many people before they develop, and when they do initially, it is not unusual to ascribe the symptoms to causes other than fungi (often to secondary bacterial infections). Consequently, the fungal diagnosis may be delayed (see diagnosis section below).
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