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Rhinocerebral aspergillosis

  • Mohan Kameswaran (a1), Abdulla Al-Wadei (a1), Praful Khurana (a2) and B. C. Okafor (a1)


Aspergillosis is increasingly being recognised as a common fungal infection of the paranasal sinuses. Although the disease is almost endemic in neighbouring Sudan, there are few reported cases from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We report four cases of sinus aspergillosis with involvement of the skull bases and/or intracranial spread; a condition we have termed rhinocerebral aspergillosis. Invasive aspergillosis in our subgroup of patients occurs in otherwise healthy patients with normal immune status, quite unlike most reported cases in the western literature. The causative agent in all our patients was identified as aspergillus flavus, similar to patients reported from Sudan. This is again at variance with the case reports from other geographical locations, where aspergillus fumigatus is the commonest causative agent. Saudi Arabia would appear to represent a distinct geographical enclave, together with Sudan, where rhinocerebral aspergillosis of the sinuses and skull base may be more common than has previously been realised.


Corresponding author

Assistant Professor, College of Medicine, P.O. Box 641, King Saud University, Abha, Saudi Arabia.


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