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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2000 Jun;124(6):883-7.

Identification of the asexual state of Rhizopus species on histologic tissue sections in a patient with rhinocerebral mucormycosis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Foster G. Mcgaw Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.


Mucormycosis is an infection caused by a group of fungi in the order Mucorales in the phylum Zygomycota. The most well-known form of this disease is rhinocerebral mucormycosis, which usually develops in diabetic or immunocompromised patients. The fungal hyphal elements are easily detected in biopsy specimens by direct or histologic examination. However, the confirmatory identification of the genus or species requires culture of the specimen. This article presents a case of rhinocerebral mucormycosis in which presumptive identification of the genus was made without microbiologic cultures and was based on the extraordinarily rare appearance of fungal sporangia and sporangiospores in histologic tissue sections. Identification of these structures allowed an early and accurate diagnosis of rhinocerebral invasive mucormycosis.

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