Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2021 Dec 1:34894211060923. doi: 10.1177/00034894211060923. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: The risk of invasive fungal rhinosinusitis is increased in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) because of its direct impact in altering innate immunity and is further exacerbated by widespread use of steroids/antibiotics/monoclonal antibodies. The study aims to describe this recently increased clinical entity in association with COVID-19.
METHOD: A prospective, longitudinal study including patients diagnosed with acute invasive fungal rhinosinusitis (AIFRS) who recently recovered from COVID-19 infection or after an asymptomatic carrier state. A single-center, descriptive study investigating demographic details, clinical presentation, radio-pathological aspects, and advocated management.
RESULT: A total of 21 patients were included with a mean age of 49.62 years (SD: 14.24). Diabetes mellitus (DM) was the most common underlying disorder (90.48%), and 63.16% of all patients with DM had a recent onset DM, either diagnosed during or after COVID-19 infection. Nineteen patients (90.48%) had recently recovered from active COVID-19 infection, and all had a history of prior steroid treatment (oral/parenteral). Remaining 2 patients were asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers. Surprisingly, 2 patients had no underlying disorder, and 5 (23.81%) recently received the Covishield vaccine. Fungal analysis exhibited Mucor (95.24%) and Aspergillus species (14.29%). Most common sign/symptom was headache and facial/periorbital pain (85.71%), followed by facial/periorbital swelling (61.90%). Disease involvement: sinonasal (100%), orbital (47.62%), pterygopalatine fossa (28.58%), infratemporal fossa (14.29%), intracranial (23.81%), and skin (9.52%). Exclusive endoscopic debridement and combined approach were utilized in 61.90% and 38.10%, respectively. Both liposomal amphotericin B and posaconazole were given in all patients except one.
CONCLUSION: A high suspicion of AIFRS should be kept in patients with recent COVID-19 infection who received steroids and presenting with headache, facial pain, and/or facial swelling. Asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers and COVID-19 vaccinated candidates are also observed to develop AIFRS, although the exact immuno-pathogenesis is still unknown. Prompt diagnosis and early management are vital for a favorable outcome.