What are the most common etiologic pathogens of fungal sinusitis?

Updated: Mar 17, 2020
  • Author: Hassan H Ramadan, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Fungal infections of the paranasal sinuses are uncommon and usually occur in individuals who are immunocompromised. However, recently, the occurrence of fungal sinusitis has increased in the immunocompetent population.

The most common pathogens are from Aspergillus and Mucor species. Aspergillosis can cause noninvasive or invasive infections. Invasive infections are characterized by dark, thick, greasy material found in the sinuses. Invasive infections can cause tissue invasion and destruction of adjacent structures (eg, orbit, CNS). Noninvasive infections cause symptoms of sinusitis, and the sinus involved is opacified on radiographic studies. Routine cultures from the sinuses rarely demonstrate the fungus. However, the fungus is usually suspected upon reviewing the computed tomography (CT) scan result and is detected on removal of the secretions from the sinus.

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