Contemporary management and clinical outcomes of mucormycosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of case reports

Wirawan Jeong, Caitlin Keighley, Rory Wolfe, Wee Leng Lee, Monica A. Slavin, Sharon C-A. Chen, David C.M. Kong

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41 Citations (Scopus)


With the advent of newer antifungals, optimum treatment of mucormycosis remains to be fully elucidated. This study systematically evaluated the contemporary management and outcomes of mucormycosis. Mucormycosis cases in patients aged ≥18 years published between January 2000 and January 2017 were identified through Ovid MEDLINE and Embase. Of the 3619 articles identified, 600 (851 individual patient cases) were included in the review. Of the 851 patient cases, antifungal treatment details were available for 785. Intravenous (i.v.) amphotericin B formulations remained the most commonly prescribed first-line antifungals (760/785; 96.8%): 88.2% (670/760) were initiated as monotherapy and 11.8% (90/760) as combination antifungal therapy. Posaconazole oral suspension monotherapy was prescribed as an initial antifungal in 11 cases. It was also administered as maintenance or salvage therapy in 39 and 25 cases, respectively. Itraconazole capsule monotherapy (n = 10) was prescribed primarily for cutaneous disease in patients not receiving any immunosuppressive therapy. All-cause 90-day mortality was 41.0% (349/851). Initial treatment with combination antifungals did not reduce 90-day mortality compared with i.v. conventional amphotericin B or i.v. liposomal amphotericin B monotherapy [35/90 (38.9%) vs. 146/369 (39.6%) vs. 91/258 (35.3%), respectively; P = 0.541]. Concomitant surgical and antifungal therapy was associated with significantly lower 90-day mortality compared with treatment with antifungals alone (OR = 0.23, 95% CI 0.13–0.41; P < 0.001). The findings suggest that first-line antifungals with good efficacy remain an urgent unmet need. Whilst surgery is fundamental to improving survival, the clinical utility of combination antifungal therapy or posaconazole monotherapy requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-597
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Mucorales
  • Mucormycosis
  • Outcomes
  • Systematic review
  • Treatment

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