Fungal necrotizing fasciitis of face- a reconstructive challenge

Deepti Gupta, Sujata Sarabahi, Ananda Murthy K. T., Nupur Aggarwal


Fungal necrotizing fasciitis (NF), particularly in the face, is an unusual infection. It is mostly seen in immunocompromised individuals and can be gravely destructive if diagnosis and treatment are delayed. We report this rare case of a 27-year-old, immunocompetent male who presented with gangrenous patch of skin on the cheek following blunt trauma to the right side of the face. Till now no case has been reported in literature with such an extensive soft tissue loss of face and involvement of facial skeleton due to fungal etiology. Clinical suspicion of necrotizing fasciitis led to early surgical intervention. Histopathological examination of the debrided tissue identified the infective organism as Apophysomyces elegans. Intravenous antifungal therapy with liposomal amphotericin B was initiated. Despite the prompt commencement of the treatment, the infection continued to spread, and the patient had to undergo serial debridement which resulted in orbital exenteration, partial maxillectomy and mandibulectomy on the right side. This resulted in a huge soft tissue defect requiring flap cover. A free anterolateral thigh flap was harvested to cover the soft tissue defect, but the blood flow could not be established. For salvage, scalp and pectoralis major muscle flaps were raised and used to cover the large hemifacial defect. The oral lining was created with a folded deltopectoral flap in a second stage. However, there was persistence of the fungal elements in wound bed even after prolonged systemic liposomal amphotericin B therapy and it invaded the flap margins due to which there was partial necrosis of the flap. In this article, we aim to describe the difficulties faced by us in the management of such devastating infection and the reconstructive challenge that it posed.  


Necrotizing fasciitis, Fungal infection, Flap cover, Liposomal amphotericin B

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