Published:December 18, 2022DOI:



      Rhino-orbital cerebral mucormycosis (ROCM) is a rare infection caused by an invasive fungus and found predominantly in immunocompromised patients. The presentation of ROCM ranges from a mild headache, fever, and sinusitis to vision loss, altered mental status, and facial disfigurement secondary to local tissue invasion. ROCM can cause significant morbidity and mortality and requires prompt diagnosis with timely evaluation by surgical and infectious disease specialists. Cases of ROCM have been reported extensively in internal medicine, infectious disease, and otolaryngology literature. However, there are very few reports in emergency medicine literature in the United States.

      Case Report

      A 72-year-old woman presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with altered mental status, 4 days of left-sided facial numbness and weakness, and sudden facial pain, swelling, and erythema. Laboratory analysis was consistent with diabetic ketoacidosis. Noncontrast computed tomography of the head and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain demonstrated findings indicative of invasive fungal infection of the left sinus and orbit with extension to the cavernous sinus and surrounding cranial nerves. She was initiated on broad-spectrum antifungals, but based on the extent of the infection, was not a surgical candidate. She subsequently transitioned to a comfort-based plan of care and died 6 days after initial ED presentation.


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