Factors associated with invasive fungal sinusitis in patients with COVID-19: A systematic review and single-center case series

Maggie R. Donovan, Amar Miglani, Devyani Lal, Michael J. Marino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: Invasive fungal sinusitis (IFS) in patients with active or recent COVID-19 have been reported throughout the world. The primary purpose of the systematic review is to describe factors associated with IFS in patients with COVID-19. The goal of the case series was to also characterize these factors in addition to evaluating the incidence of IFS at our institution after the onset of the pandemic. Methods: A systematic review using the preferred reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) framework identified publications of IFS cases associated with COVID-19 (IFSAC). Search terms were “COVID-19,” “invasive,” “fungal,” and “sinusitis.” IFS cases were evaluated for COVID-19 status, fungal etiology, comorbidities, treatment, and outcome. A case series of patients at our center with IFS between December 1, 2018 to March 31, 2020 (“pre-covid”) and April 1, 2020 to August 1, 2021 (“post-covid”) was also performed with the above parameters. Results: Fourteen studies totaling 206 cases of IFSAC were identified. Most cases came from India (140/206, 68.0%), followed by Egypt (62/206, 30.1%), and North America (4/206, 1.9%). Diabetes was the most common comorbidity (151/206, 73.3%). Recent or prolonged steroid use was noted in 65.0% of cases (134/206). In our series, five pre-covid and four post-covid cases were identified. One had recent COVID-19 infection. Acute myeloid leukemia was the most common pre-covid comorbidity (3/5, 60.0%). Diabetes was the most frequent post-covid comorbidity (2/4, 50.0%). Chronic steroid usage was noted in two pre-covid and one post-covid cases. Conclusion: Diabetes and steroid use are common factors in reported cases of IFSAC. IFS incidence in our case series did not change appreciably after the onset of the pandemic. Level of Evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-919
Number of pages7
JournalLaryngoscope investigative otolaryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • coronavirus
  • corticosteroids
  • diabetes
  • invasive fungal sinusitis
  • mucormycosis
  • otolaryngology
  • pandemic
  • review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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