Intracranial fungal granuloma (IFG) remains an uncommon entity. The authors report a single-institute study of 90 cases of IFG, which is the largest study until now.
In this retrospective study, all cases of IFG surgically treated in the years 2001–2018 were included. Data were obtained from the medical records and the pathology, microbiology, and radiology departments. All relevant clinical data, imaging characteristics, surgical procedure performed, perioperative findings, and follow-up data were recorded from the case files. Telephonic follow-up was also performed for a few patients to find out their current status.
A total of 90 cases consisting of 64 males (71.1%) and 26 (28.9%) females were evaluated. The mean patient age was 40.2 years (range 1–79 years). Headache (54 patients) was the most common presenting complaint, followed by visual symptoms (35 patients), fever (21 patients), and others such as limb weakness (13 patients) or seizure (9 patients). Cranial nerve involvement was the most common sign (47 patients), followed by motor deficit (22 patients) and papilledema (7 patients). The mean duration of symptoms before presentation was 6.4 months (range 0.06–48 months). Thirty patients (33.3%) had predisposing factors like diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis, or other immunocompromised status. A pure intracranial location of the IFG was seen in 49 cases (54.4%), whereas rhinocerebral or paranasal sinus involvement was seen in 41 cases (45.6%). Open surgery, that is, craniotomy and decompression, was performed in 55 cases, endoscopic biopsy was done in 30 cases, and stereotactic biopsy was performed in 5 cases. Aspergilloma (43 patients) was the most common fungal mass, followed by zygomycosis (13 patients), chromomycosis (9 patients), cryptococcoma (7 patients), mucormycosis (5 patients), and candida infection (1 patient). In 12 cases, the exact fungal phenotype could not be identified. Follow-up was available for 69/90 patients (76.7%). The mean duration of the follow-up was 37.97 months (range 3–144 months). The mortality rate was 52.2% (36/69 patients) among the patients with available follow-up.
A high index of suspicion for IFG should exist for patients with an immunocompromised status and diabetic patients with rhinocerebral mass lesions. Early diagnosis, aggressive surgical decompression, and a course of promptly initiated antifungal therapy are associated with a better prognosis.