Cerebral mucormycosis after liver transplantation: A case report

Marc Webb, Lorraine Dowdy, Claudia Bundschu, Jose Nery, Eugene Schiff, Andreas G. Tzakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A fatal case of cerebral mucormycosis occurring shortly after liver transplantation is described. The patient was a 32-yr-old male with advanced end-stage liver disease manifested by tense ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, deepening jaundice and anuria requiring hemodialysis. The 3rd day after successful liver transplantation the patient developed acute respiratory failure, then focal motor signs. Computed tomography showed fluid in the left maxillary sinus, partial opacification of the ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses, and diffuse low density lesions in both cerebral hemispheres. Despite treatment for cerebritis and cerebral edema, the patient's pupils became fixed and dilated, and brain death was declared. Autopsy revealed mucor sinusitis and cerebritis. Mucormycosis is an opportunistic fungal infection occurring in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis, malignancy, or immunodeficiency, and in those receiving wide-spectrum antibiotics, corticosteroids, or cytotoxic therapy. Mucor most frequently involves the face, rhinocerebral disease predominating. These infections are difficult to treat, but are curable with aggressive and frequent surgical debridement, discontinuation or reduction of immunosuppressive therapy and amphotericin. The diagnosis of mucormycosis is very difficult to make in cases such as the present one, in which the typical presentation and classical signs are not present. A high index of suspicion based on identified risk factors may assist in more rapid diagnosis of this life-threatening mycosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-599
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


  • Fungal infection
  • Liver transplantation
  • Mucormycosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


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