Cerebral phaeohyphomycosis due to Rhinocladiella mackenziei in an immunocompetent patient: A case report and review of literature

Document Type : Case report


Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Stadium Road, Karachi, Pakistan


Background and Purpose: Rhinocladiella mackenziei is a neurotropic fungus, which can cause devastating intracerebral infections with up to 100% fatality rate. It is difficult to isolate this fungus in laboratory as it grows slowly and requires diagnostic skills.
Case report: A 42-year-old Pakistani man presented with headache, facial numbness, progressive upper limb weakness, and dysarthria. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed a space-occupying lesion in the basal ganglia region. The patient underwent supratentorial craniotomy for biopsy and excision. Histopathology of the specimen revealed granulomatous inflammation with abscess formation. Periodic acid-Schiff special stains highlighted the presence of numerous septate fungal hyphae. The results revealed the growth of dematiaceous fungi, which were morphologically classified as R. mackenziei. The patient is currently stable and is being on amphotericin and posaconazole, along with neurorehabilitation therapy.
Conclusion: Rhinocladiella mackenziei brain abscess is a devastating infection with significant mortality. This condition should be suspected in patients with brain abscess from high endemic areas.


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Volume 6, Issue 3
September 2020
Pages 65-68
  • Receive Date: 13 March 2020
  • Revise Date: 08 September 2020
  • Accept Date: 12 September 2020
  • First Publish Date: 12 September 2020