Fungal infections of the nose and paranasal sinuses are uncommon, and the disease they cause can be identified from their histopathologic appearance. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence of fungal infection and histopathologic changes in specimens sent for evaluation of chronic sinusitis and correlate with culture findings wherever possible. The records of 200 consecutive cases coded as paranasal sinuses over a period of 3 years were retrieved from the Department of Pathology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India. Twenty nine out of a total of 200 specimens (14.5%) were positive for fungal elements on histopathologic examination. The most common etiologic agents in our study were Aspergillus spp (37.9%); only 1 culture (3.4%) was positive for a Candida species. Eight of 29 patients with fungal sinusitis (27.6%) had diabetes, and 1 patient was being treated for rheumatoid arthritis. Eight of the 29 patients had allergic fungal sinusitis, 8 had chronic granulomatous sinusitis, and 1 had acute fulminant invasive sinusitis. Fungi have been increasingly recognized as an important pathogen in chronic sinusitis. It is imperative for patient management not only that paranasal sinus mycoses be diagnosed but also that the specific histologic category be identified.
Fungal infections of the nose and paranasal sinuses are uncommon and may occur both in immunocompromised and immunocompetent individuals. However, antromycosis has been increasing in frequency and variety. Patients may have an acute or chronic clinical presentation and an invasive or noninvasive course. Sometimes the infections may extend through the thin walls of the sinuses into the orbit, structures of the eye, and the brain.
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