Endoscopic surgery for sinonasal invasive aspergillosis in bone marrow transplantation patients

Ron Eliashar*, Igor B. Resnick, Abraham Goldfarb, Jay Wohlgelernter, Menachem Gross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Sinonasal invasive aspergillosis (IA) is an aggressive fungal infection with high mortality rates. It commonly develops in immunocompromised patients, often after bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Aggressive surgical debridement by an external approach has been considered a central element of treatment. We describe our experience in endoscopic management of IA in BMT patients in a retrospective study. METHODS: Charts of BMT patients with IA in the past 5 years were reviewed. Demographic data, primary disease, comorbidities, signs and symptoms, blood test results, preparation for surgery, surgical technique, and outcome were recorded. RESULTS: Fourteen BMT patients, age ranging from 3 to 56 years, had sinonasal IA. The primary disease was acute myelogenous leukemia in 6, acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 3, chronic myeloblastic leukemia in one, severe combined immunodeficiency disease in 2, and myelodysplastic syndrome in 2 patients. Diagnosis was made by physical examination, biopsy, culture, and computed tomography scan. Treatment, including aggressive endoscopic debridement, a systemic antifungal medication, and local irrigations of amphotericin-B enabled eradication of IA in all patients. Seven patients required two or more operations. None required orbital exenteration or craniotomy. Six patients died of the primary illness or of comorbidities with no evidence of residual disease. Eight patients are alive. CONCLUSION: Early detection of IA in BMT patients enables aggressive treatment before the disease spreads into the orbit or brain. Proper preoperative preparation facilitates safe endoscopic surgery in patients with severe bleeding tendencies. Although sinonasal IA is lethal, endoscopic surgery is feasible and efficient, enabling excellent local control.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)78-81
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery
  • Fungal infection
  • Invasive aspergillosis
  • Sinuses


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