How can we help you?
Schedule anappointment >
Ask a question >
Request our expertopinion >
1-877-986-9862(within the U.S.)
There are two primary types of invasive fungal sinus infections, acute and chronic.
The acute version of fungal sinusitis is more serious and primarily occurs in people whose immune systems have been compromised. Fungi usually feed on dead organic matter, but weakened immune defenses can allow fungi to begin eating tissue that is still alive.
As the fungus reproduces, it spreads rapidly into the blood vessels, eye area, and central nervous system with devastating results. Acute invasive fungal sinusitis is a rare condition with a high mortality rate.
Fungal infection of the sinuses can occur when fungal organisms are inhaled and deposited in the nasal passageways and paranasal sinuses, causing inflammation. The dark, moist environment of the sinuses is ideal for fungi, which can reproduce without light or food.
Most fungal infections of the sinuses are noninvasive, meaning they won't spread to surrounding tissue.
Symptoms are similar to a sinus infection — congestion, facial pain and swelling, and discharge — but you may be severely ill with these symptoms.
At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for invasive fungal sinusitis is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This innovative, minimally invasive technique uses the nose and nasal cavities as natural corridors to access hard-to-reach or previously inoperable tumors. Benefits of EEA include:
Your physician will perform a physical exam and ask about any symptoms you have been having.
People with invasive fungal sinusitis usually are very ill, and may have some of the following symptoms:
Those with chronic invasive fungal sinusitis usually have symptoms of a long-standing sinus infection, including:
Orbital apex syndrome is also characteristic of the chronic sinus infection. Its symptoms include decreased vision and ocular immobility, due to a mass of fungal material that has spread into the eye orbit.
Acute invasive fungal sinusitis is a medical emergency, and surgery to remove the infected tissue should be performed immediately once the diagnosis is made. Radical removal of all dead and infected tissue is necessary. The chronic infection requires surgery as well.
Tissue infected by invasive fungal sinusitis may be approached directly using the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive treatment approach allows surgeons to access the tumor through the natural corridor of the nose, without making an open incision. Surgeons then remove the infected tissue through the nose and nasal cavities.
EEA offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement, and a faster recovery time.
Treatment also includes follow-up with antifungal medications.
People with invasive fungal sinusitis need to remain under long-term observation by a doctor, as recurrence is common.
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by
A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.
For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.
UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.
Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.
For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com