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Hum Pathol. 1984 Oct;15(10):935-42.

Cardiac fungal infections: review of autopsy findings in 60 patients.


An autopsy study of 60 patients with fungal infections of the heart was undertaken. The patients ranged in age from 2 months to 79 years. Fifteen of the patients had undergone cardiac surgery; neoplasms were found in 13, renal failure in eight, bacterial infections in five, liver disease in five, gastrointestinal disorders in five, and immune disease in four; two had been intravenous drug abusers; other miscellaneous disorders were observed in three. The fungal infection was limited to the myocardium in 27 patients and to the endocardium in 17 patients. Myocardium and endocardium were involved in nine patients and pericardium and myocardium in five; two patients had pericarditis alone. The most frequent organism was Candida (62 per cent). Aspergillus (12 per cent) and Phycomycetes (12 per cent) were also found frequently. In 51 patients (85 per cent) other deep organs, usually lung, kidney, brain, or spleen were involved. Cultures for fungus had been positive in 26 patients prior to death, and postmortem cultures were positive in 29 patients. Patients who had undergone cardiac surgery had a higher incidence of endocarditis (93 per cent), with Candida (53 per cent) being the most frequent cause. Patients who had received antineoplastic drugs, antibiotics, or corticosteroids had a higher incidence of myocarditis (79 per cent), again most often due to Candida (60 per cent).

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