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Clin Infect Dis. 1994 Oct;19(4):789-91.

Paranasal sinus infection due to atypical mycobacteria in two patients with AIDS.

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Department of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City.


Atypical mycobacteria, which are common opportunistic pathogens in patients with AIDS, have not been previously implicated in the pathogenesis of paranasal sinus infections; we describe two such patients. Clinical and radiographic evidence of bilateral maxillary and ethmoid sinusitis was observed for one patient; his infection proved resistant to therapy with conventional antimicrobials and decongestants. Endoscopic ethmoid sinus biopsy yielded a specimen containing acid-fast bacilli (AFB) that were later identified as Mycobacterium kansasii. Antimycobacterial therapy had not resulted in amelioration of the sinusitis > 2 months later, at which time he died of cerebral toxoplasmosis. The second patient presented with a tender right frontotemporal soft-tissue mass; a computed tomogram disclosed that it extended through the frontal bone to the frontal sinus. Inflamed tissue debrided from the sinus contained AFB; cultures first yielded M. kansasii and later Mycobacterium avium complex. Bacteremia due to both organisms was also demonstrated. Infection progressed despite therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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