n South African Medical Journal - Orbital apex syndrome caused by aspergilloma in an immunocompromised patient with cutaneous lymphoma : a case report of a rare entity : in practice - case report

Volume 106, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



A 57-year-old man with a history of chemotherapy because of cutaneous lymphoma presented with an orbital apex syndrome. The cranial computed tomography scan revealed a tumour in the orbital apex, extending intradurally. With a suspected diagnosis of a neoplastic lesion, the patient underwent orbital surgery with optic nerve decompression. Histology revealed an aspergilloma. No other foci were seen and treatment with antifungals was started. In immunocompromised patients with intracranial tumours, infection is always a major consideration in the differential diagnosis, even if the reason for immunosuppression (in this case chemotherapy) dates back several months. Misdiagnosing an orbital apex lesion as a cancer and treating patients primarily with corticosteroids can be life threatening. Removal or biopsy of such lesions is essential in further treatment since antifungals have to be administered as fast as possible.

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