Treatment of Rhinocerebral Mucormycosis with Intravenous, Interstitial, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Administration of Amphotericin B: Case Report

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Rhinocerebral mucormycosis is extremely difficult to treat. Approximately 70% of patients are poorly controlled diabetics, and many of the remainder are immunocompromised as a consequence of cytotoxic drugs, burn injuries, or end-stage renal disease. Despite standard treatment consisting of surgical debridement and the intravenous administration of amphotericin B, rhinocerebral mucormycosis is usually a fatal disease.


We describe the case of a 16-year-old male patient with juvenile onset diabetes mellitus who presented with fever, right-sided hemiparesis, and disarthria. Axial view computed tomography revealed abscess formation in the left basal ganglia and frontal lobe, which was proven by stereotactic biopsy to contain Rhizopus oryzae.


Intravenous administration of amphotericin B (30-280 mg/dose) was begun on the day of admission. On hospital Day 20, after the occurrence of frank abscess formation, the lesion was aggressively debrided. Despite these therapies, there was neurological deterioration characterized by the development of hemiplegia and aphasia. Sequential computed tomographic scans enhanced with contrast medium demonstrated progressively enlarging lesions. Ommaya reservoirs were placed into the abscess cavity and the frontal horn of the contralateral lateral ventricle. The patient was then treated with intracavitary/interstitial injections of amphotericin B during the course of 80 days and three doses of intraventricular amphotericin B. Clinical and radiographic improvement was achieved after treatment. Two years after the initial diagnosis, magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed no evidence of disease and an examination revealed a neurologically intact and fully functional patient.


We conclude that with an infection as morbid as rhinocerebral mucormycosis, it is advisable to use surgical debridement and all available routes for delivering amphotericin B to infected cerebral parenchyma, which include intravenous, intracavitary/interstitial, and cerebrospinal fluid perfusion pathways.

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