Alternaria: A sinonasal pathogen of immunocompromised hosts

Vicki A Morrison, Daniel J Weisdorf

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48 Scopus citations


Fungal infections remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Although Candida and Aspergillus species are the most common fungal isolates, other less common fungal isolates such as Alternaria species are emerging as opportunistic pathogens associated with discrete clinical syndromes. We reviewed a 16-year consecutive series of bone marrow-transplant recipients and describe the presentation, treatment approach, and outcome of six cases of localized invasive sinonasal infection caused by Alternaria species in this series. At presentation, minimal or no symptoms were present, and nasal lesions of suspicious origin were often an incidental finding in evaluation of unexplained fever. Findings of sinus roentgenograms were normal for five of six patients. Infection occurred prior to white blood cell recovery in five of six cases. All infections were localized to the sinonasal region without evidence of dissemination. Treatment included systemic antifungal therapy and surgical debridement in all patients; granulocyte transfusions were performed for four patients. The infections resolved without sequelae in all but one patient who died of postoperative complications. Alternaria has a predilection for causing localized invasive sinonasal infection in immunocompromised hosts that can be successfully treated with an aggressive approach of combined modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received 14 September 1992. Financial support: This work was supported in part by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA 21737). Reprints or correspondence: Dr. Vicki A. Morrison, Hematology/Oncology (1 1 1 E), Veterans Administration Hospital, One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55417.


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