Invasive Fungal Infections Following Combat-Related Injury

Paolino, Kristopher M.; Henry, James A.; Hospenthal, Duane R.; Wortmann, Glenn W.; Hartzell, Joshua D.
June 2012
Military Medicine;Jun2012, Vol. 177 Issue 6, p681
Academic Journal
Invasive mold infections are a rare complication of traumatic wounds. We examined the incidence and outcomes of these infections in combat wounds. A retrospective chart review from March 2002 through July 2008 of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic wounds was performed. A confirmed fungal wound infection was defined as growth of a known pathogenic mold and visualization of fungal elements on histopathology. Six cases were identified for an incidence of 0.4 cases/1,000 admissions. The incidence of invasive mold infections increased over time (p = 0.008) with a peak of 5.2 cases/1,000 admissions in 2007. Isolated molds included Aspergillus (n = 4), BipolaHs (17 = 2), and 1 each Mucor and Absidia. All patients were male with a mean age of 22. Blast (n = 5) and gunshot wound (n = 1) were the sources of injury. All patients had fever (mean 39.4°C) and leukocytosis (mean white blood cell count 25 x 10³/µL). The average acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II score was 22. All patients received antifungal agents, surgical debridement, and 3 required amputation revision. Average length of stay was 97 days. There were no deaths. Invasive mold infections are a rare complication of combat wounds but are associated with significant morbidity and may be increasing in frequency.


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