CT assessment of bone marrow transplant patients with rhinocerebral aspergillosis

Daniel Saah, Jean Yves Sichel, Allan Schwartz, Arnon Nagler, Ron Eliashar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Invasive rhinocerebral aspergillosis is a hazardous complication of bone marrow transplantation. A study was conducted to describe the computed tomography (CT) features of this disease. Materials and Methods: Charts and CT scans of bone marrow transplant patients with invasive rhinocerebral aspergillosis were reviewed. The diagnosis was confirmed by otolaryngologic examination and biopsy of suspected lesions. Sinus CT scans were conducted without contrast material. They were repeated with contrast if intracranial or intraorbital extension was suspected. CT scans were correlated with physical examination, history of disease, and histology. Results: Of 1,013 bone marrow transplantations carried out over a 10-year period, 21 patients (2.07%) developed invasive rhinocerebral aspergillosis. In most cases the infection was unilateral. Air-fluid levels and calcifications were rarely encountered. Mucosal thickening, soft tissue hyperdense masses in the nasal cavity and/or sinuses, and clear (uninvolved) ethmoid cells amid diseased cells, were significant CT features that characterized invasive fungal infection. Opacification of the sinus represented extensive disease with tissue necrosis. When bone destruction was encountered, fulminant infection was already present, usually with significant orbital and/or brain invasion. Conclusions: When correlated with clinical findings and histologic results, the above CT features can help identify early infection so that appropriate medical and surgical treatment can be instituted.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)328-331
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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