Rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis: patient characteristics in pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 period*

Lisa Mary Cherian*, Lalee Varghese, V. Rupa, Rakesh R. Bright, Lisa Abraham, Raga Panicker, R. Nithya, Jayanthi Peter, Aliva Nayak, Aparna Shyam, George M. Varghese, Abi Manesh, Reka Karuppusami, Krupa George, Tina George, Audrin Lenin, Samuel George Hansdak, I. Ramya, Joy Sarojini Michael, Marilyn NinanMeera Thomas, Reshma Kurian, Shoba Mammen, Regi Kurien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Rhino-orbito-cerebral-mucormycosis (ROCM), a rare and potentially fatal disease was seen in increasing numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study describes and compares the patient characteristics and outcomes in COVID-19 associated mucormycosis (CAM) and non-COVID-19 mucormycosis (non-CAM). Methodology: CAM patients (24 cases) were recruited from the COVID-19 period and non-CAM (24 controls) from the pre-CO-VID-19 period. Clinical data of the CAM group was collected retrospectively with 3 month outcomes prospectively. The non-CAM group data was collected retrospectively. Patient characteristics were compared and risk factors for mortality in ROCM were assessed. Results: Orbital symptoms [altered vision, restricted eye movements, ptosis] and intracranial involvement were higher in CAM patients on presentation. Similarly, the radiological involvement of orbit (orbital apex, superior orbital fissure) and intracranial cavity (intracranial thrombosis, cavernous sinus) was also higher in CAM patients. Newly detected diabetes was found only in CAM patients (29.2%). Although univariate analysis suggested an increased mortality risk in ROCM patients with orbital involvement, the multivariate analysis showed no increased risk with any of the parameters assessed, including COVID-19 positivity. Conclusions: Compared to the non-CAM, the disease presentation was severe in CAM with higher frequency of orbital and intracranial involvement. However, with early detection and treatment, the short term survival was comparable in both groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-434
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 2022


  • brain infarction
  • COVID-19
  • mucormycosis
  • ophthalmoplegia
  • Rhizopus
  • Pandemics
  • Orbital Diseases
  • Humans
  • Nose
  • Mucormycosis/diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this