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Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2012 Jan-Feb;2(1):45-50. doi: 10.1002/alr.20086. Epub 2011 Aug 18.

Oral antifungal therapy for Fusarium-associated chronic rhinosinusitis.

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Sinus and Nasal Institute of Florida Foundation, St. Petersburg, FL 33702, USA.



Fusarium is commonly reported as an organism found in fungus-associated chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) yet it is known to be resistant to commonly used antifungal therapies. The goals of this work are to report the incidence of Fusarium-associated CRS in fungal cultures and to describe the treatment experience with oral antifungal agent aimed at this problem.


Patients with sinus cultures obtained from 2005 through 2008 were retrospectively identified and their medical records were evaluated. Cultures were obtained in patients with recalcitrant rhinosinusitis when purulent discharge was observed. Patient response to the therapy was measured upon the basis of self reported symptom improvements and endoscopic examination.


In this 4-year period 2,570 outpatient fungal cultures were obtained and 194 (7.5%) were positive for Fusarium. These 194 positive cultures appeared in 94 individuals. Thirty-four tested positive multiple times. Twenty-three (24.5%) had severe recalcitrant CRS poorly responsive to standard therapies warranting antifungal therapy aimed at Fusarium. Fifteen individuals were treated with voriconazole, 5 with posaconazole, and 3 with both at separate times. Endoscopic evidence of initial improvement on therapy was evident in 16 of 23 patients (69.6%). Of 18 patients who could comment on their experience with the antifungal treatments, nearly 90% of them reported substantial improvement with the therapy. Nine (9/23; 39.1%) were forced to discontinue oral antifungal therapy due to untoward effects.


Fusarium appears in 7.55% of outpatient cultures of CRS. Of the patients testing positive for Fusarium, 25% received oral antifungal therapy. A positive response was seen in 16 of 23 (69.6%) while receiving other standard therapies. Since Fusarium is not routinely sensitive to commonly used antifungal agents, it warrants special attention.

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