Invasive oral aspergillosis in a patient with acute myeloid leukaemia


Dr Howard Cho
Senior House Officer
Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery
Waikato Hospital
Pembroke Street
Private Bag 3200
Hamilton 3240
New Zealand


Aspergillosis (a fungal infection by an organism of the Aspergillus species) of the oral cavity is an uncommon condition which most frequently occurs in immunocompromised patients, such as those with haematological malignancies. In such patients, prolonged neutropenia secondary to chemotherapeutic agents enables the spread of invasive aspergillosis, which is unaffected by anatomical barriers. Early detection and treatment of the condition is essential to avoid more serious complications, such as disseminated infection, which results in increased morbidity and mortality. This case report describes a patient with acute myeloid leukaemia who developed localized invasive Aspergillus flavus of the palate. High-dose antifungal therapy was instituted along with surgical removal of the involved tissues. Aspergillosis of the palate was successfully eradicated with no long-term ill effects from the treatment. Management of invasive aspergillosis includes early aggressive antifungal medication combined with surgical removal of the involved tissues.