Palatal mucormycosis in neutropenic children: A Case Report with Review of Literature

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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology


Palatal involvement in mucormycosis is mostly secondary to rhino-orbito-cerebral disease, but rarely can be a primary disease of the oral mucosa. This report presents two rare cases of the isolated palatal mucormycosis in neutropenic children and highlights some of the peculiar features of the primary palatal disease and management-related issues in children. A 12-year-old child, who had completed the dexamethasone-based induction phase of chemotherapy for Near Early T cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and a 9-year-old boy with a Late Isolated Medullary relapse of B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, who was to receive salvage induction chemotherapy, developed palatal discoloration without any other major complaints. Both had neutropenia and were on antifungal prophylaxis. In vitro staining of the discolored mucosa suggested mucormycosis, which was confirmed by pathological examination of the debrided tissue. Computed tomography, done before debridement, showed no significant sinonasal disease enabling us to proceed with the transoral approach. With the help of adjuvant antifungal therapy, the infection could be contained in both cases. This report, along with the reviewed literature, shows that limited palatal mucormycosis can be effectively treated by early diagnosis and debridement and appropriate antifungal therapy. Also, the role of antifungal prophylaxis amongst neutropenic patients has been briefly discussed here.

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