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Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2003 Aug;36(4):577-94.

Fungal infections of the head and neck: an update.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 E. 9th Avenue, B-205, Denver, CO 80262, USA.


Despite the vast literature regarding fungal infections of the head and neck, little has changed in diagnosis or management of these infections except in the nose and sinuses. Three main points regarding fungal involvement in the paranasal sinuses are evident now. First, fungi may be important in a significant percentage of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Second, the pathophysiologic mechanism responsible for fungal rhinosinusitis remains unclear. It may represent an allergic IgE response, a cell-mediated reaction, or a combination of the two. Finally, there is certainly a spectrum of disease thus far defined: allergic fungal sinusitis as defined by Bent and Kuhn [35], eosinophilic mucin rhinosinusitis defined by Ferguson [50], and eosinophilic fungal rhinosinusitis as proposed by Ponikau [45]. Fungal infections of the head and neck are panoramic in distribution and pathophysiology. They represent a broad range of disease of which medical science has only recently begun to uncover the surface. As research begins to unravel the complex host defense mechanisms against these pathogens from a cellular and even genetic level, the body of knowledge will continue to increase exponentially and the ability to treat patients suffering from fungal infections will improve.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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