This article was originally published here
Mycoses. 2021 Jun 16. doi: 10.1111/myc.13338. Online ahead of print.
In its wake, the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a surge in the number of cases of mucormycosis. Most cases are temporally linked to COVID-19; hence, the entity is described as COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM). The present systematic review was undertaken to provide an up-to-date summary of the hitherto available literature on CAM. PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases were systematically searched using appropriate keywords till May 14, 2021, to identify case reports/case series pertaining to mucormycosis in patients with COVID-19. Relevant data extracted included demographic characteristics, comorbidity profile, clinical category of mucormycosis, glucocorticoid use, treatment offered and patient outcome. We identified 30 case reports/case series, pooling data retrieved from 99 patients with CAM. Most cases were reported from India (72%). The majority of the patients was male (78%) and had diabetes mellitus (85%). A prior history of COVID-19 was present in 37% patients with mucormycosis developing after an initial recovery. The median time interval between COVID-19 diagnosis and the first evidence of mucormycosis infection or CAM diagnosis was 15 days. Glucocorticoid use was reported in 85% of cases. Rhino-orbital mucormycosis was most common (42%), followed by rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis (24%). Pulmonary mucormycosis was observed in 10 patients (10%). The mortality rate was 34%; the use of adjunct surgery, which was undertaken in 81% of patients, was associated with better clinical outcomes (p<0.001). In conclusion, CAM is an emerging problem necessitating increased vigilance in COVID-19 patients, even those who have recovered. CAM portends a poor prognosis and warrants early diagnosis and treatment.