Background: Fungi are uncommon causes of sinusitis. Many fungi have been associated with fungal sinusitis including Aspergillus species, Zygomycetes species, several of the dematiaceous fungi including Curvularia, Bipolaris and Exserohilum. The etiological agents of fungal sinusitis reported from India vary from there of the western countries, where in dematiaceous fungi are common. Aspergillus spp are more commonly isolated from the Indian subcontinent.
Aim: The aim of the study is to determine the aetiology of fungal sinusitis and the associated predisposing factors in patients with chronic sinusitis, attending Department of Otolaryngology, Gandhi Hospital, Hyderabad, a tertiary referral centre.
Materials and Methods: Prospective study approved by the institution ethical committee, conducted from September 2011 to August 2014. 50 patients age group of 10-63 years (with mean age of 39.03 years) attending the Department of Otolaryngology, Gandhi Hospital were studied.
Clinically suspected cases of Chronic Rhino Sinusitis (CRS), lasting longer than 3 months was included in the study. Children below 10 years were excluded from the study. Patients were evaluated on the basis of the clinical, radiological, mycological findings. Specimens include allergic mucin, exudates from the nasal mucosa, tissue biopsy from nasal polyps and sinus mucosa obtained intra operatively were collected and processed. All samples were received in sterile containers. Specimens were subjected to microscopy (10%KOH, Histopathology) and culture.
Results & Discussion: Out of the 50 cases studied, Fungal culture was positive in 22 (44%), found to be common in young adults (20-42 yrs). Aspergillus species (14) were the common isolates followed by Rhizopus species (3), Alternaria species (1), Curvularia species (1), Penicillium species (1), Mucor species (1) and Aurobasidium pullorum (1) each. Nasal obstruction (76.6%) and Nasal discharge (56.6%) are the common complaints in these patients. In India, Aspergillus spp., are commonly isolated and vary from there of the western countries, where in dematiaceous fungi are common. In India a large proportion of the population live in rural or semi-rural areas and their exposure to certain fungi will differ from urban population in developed countries.
Conclusion: In India no population based data is available and more studies are needed to address the problem.