Zygomycosis

    Also known as: mycormycosis, phycomycosis

    Clinical Features:

    • Infection caused by ubiquitous saprophytic fungi of several genera, including Mucor, Absidia, Rhizopus, Cunninghamella and Circinella
    • Mainly affects immunocompromised hosts, in whom infection can be fatal
    • Five clinical forms: rhinocerebral, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cutaneous and disseminated
    • There are two described variants of cutaneous zygomycosis:
      • Subacute: Affects healthy hosts exposed to contaminated adhesive tape.  Vesicles and pustules progressing to eschars.
      • Rapidly progressive: Affects immunocompromised hosts.  Necrotic black crust surrounded by cellulitis; may progress to disseminated disease.

    Histologic Features:

    • Extensive necrosis
    • Vascular damage with fungal hyphae invading vessels (angioinvasion)
    • The hyphae are visible on both H&E and special fungal stains.  They are broad, normally nonseptate (although an occasional septum may sometimes be seen) and empty appearing ("ribbon like") with nonparallel walls and right-angle branching.

    External Links:

    Cases associated with this book:

  • Zygomycosis
    Author: Artur Zembowicz M.D. Ph.D.

    Conference: DermatopathologyConsultations.com Teaching Collection