Zygomycetes infections in pediatric hematology oncology patients: a case series and review of the literature. Academic Article Case Study Review uri icon


  • Fungi from the Zygomycetes class are increasingly recognized causes of infection in immunosuppressed children, but no comprehensive literature review and few case series have been published on the topic. A case series of 6 pediatric oncology patients with Zygomycetes infections cared for at our institution was constructed, and a concurrent search of the English language literature for Zygomycetes infections in children with oncologic disorders was undertaken. Our case series described 6 patients (5 male) between the ages of 2.5 and 19.5 years. One patient was diagnosed with rhinocerebral disease, 2 with rhinosinusitis, 2 with pulmonary involvement, and 1 with a gastrointestinal presentation. Five patients survived. Our literature review identified 82 cases from 61 studies. The mean subject age was 10.8 years (1.4 to 21.0 y). About 92.7% of all patients suffered from some form of leukemia, with 70.7% suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Overall, 58.5% of reported patients survived, with individuals with disseminated disease showing the worst prognosis (68.2% mortality) and those with cutaneous disease the best (14.3% mortality). Survival is increasingly reported in the literature, perhaps as a result of improved diagnostic capabilities, increased physician awareness and increased reliance on adjunctive surgical therapy.

publication date

  • 2009