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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007 Aug;26(8):723-7.

Zygomycosis in children: a systematic review and analysis of reported cases.

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Department of Pediatrics and the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.



Zygomycosis has emerged as an increasingly important infection with a high mortality especially in immunocompromised patients. No comprehensive analysis of pediatric zygomycosis cases has been published to date.


We used a PUBMED search for English publications of pediatric (0-18 years) zygomycosis cases and references from major books as well as single case reports or case series. Individual references were reviewed for additional cases. Data were entered into Filemaker-pro database and analyzed by logistic regression analysis.


One hundred fifty-seven cases (64% male) were found with median age 5 years (range, 0.16-13). Underlying conditions included neutropenia (18%), prematurity (17%), diabetes mellitus (15%), ketoacidosis (10%), and no apparent underlying condition (14%). The most common patterns of zygomycosis were cutaneous (27%), gastrointestinal (21%), rhinocerebral (18%), and pulmonary (16%). Among 77 culture-confirmed cases, Rhizopus spp. (44%) and Mucor spp. (15%) were most commonly identified. Of 81 patients who were given antifungal therapy, 73% received an amphotericin B formulation only. The remaining patients received mostly amphotericin B in combination with other antifungal agents. Mortality in patients without antifungal therapy was higher than in those with therapy (88% versus 36%, P < 0.0001). Ninety-two (59%) patients underwent surgery. Cerebral, gastrointestinal, disseminated and cutaneous zygomycosis were associated with mortality rates of 100, 100, 88, and 0%, respectively. Independent risk factors for death were disseminated infection (OR: 7.18; 95% CI: 3.02-36.59) and age <1 year (OR: 3.85; 95% CI: 1.05-7.43). Antifungal therapy and particularly surgery reduced risk of death by 92% (OR: 0.07; 95% CI: 0.04-0.25) and 84% (OR: 0.16; 95% CI: 0.09-0.61), respectively.


Zygomycosis is a life-threatening infection in children with neutropenia, diabetes mellitus, and prematurity as common predisposing factors, and there is high mortality in untreated disease, disseminated infection, and age <1 year. Amphotericin B and surgery significantly improve outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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