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Fungal laryngitis in immunocompetent patients

  • Hisham M. Mehanna (a1), Tony Kuo (a1), John Chaplin (a1), Graeme Taylor (a2) and Randall P. Morton (a1)...

Abstract

The diagnosis of fungal laryngitis is often overlooked in systemically immunocompetent patients because it is commonly considered a disease of the immunocompromised, and because it often mimics, clinically and histologically, more common and more serious conditions e.g. leukoplakia. A high index of suspicion is required to make the diagnosis, and should be considered in any immunocompetent patient with persistent or refractory laryngitis and factors predisposing to local mucosal barrier impairment e.g. gastropharyngeal reflux, smoking or inhaled steroid use. In such cases, demonstration of hyperkeratosis, particularly if associated with intraepithelial neutrophils, on biopsy should trigger a search for fungal elements using specialized stains. Prolonged treatment by systemic antimycotics is required. Treatment should also include the elimination of any predisposing factors, as failure to do so may result in difficulty with disease eradication or recurrence of the condition.

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