Covid-19 patient develops rare white fungus abscess in brain after recovery

Updated on Aug 06, 2021 07:41 PM IST

The Covid-19 patient complained of weakness in limbs and difficulty in speech following recovery from the viral disease.

Covid-19 patients rarely witness white fungus forming an abscess of brain. (Representational photo)
Covid-19 patients rarely witness white fungus forming an abscess of brain. (Representational photo)
By | Written by Avik Roy, New Delhi

A patient who recovered from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Hyderabad reportedly developed a rare case of white fungus or Aspergillus forming an abscess in the brain.

According to reports, the patient who recovered from the viral disease in May complained of weakness in limbs and difficulty in speech. When doctors conducted a scan of the patient’s brain, they found clot-like formations that did not reduce despite medication. It was only after surgery was conducted that the doctors detected that the white fungus had formed an abscess in the brain.

Doctors say while inflammation of the brain by Aspergillus is common instances of white fungus forming an abscess, especially in Covid-19 patients, is extremely rare.

A senior neurosurgeon of Hyderabad-based Sunshine Hospitals, Dr P Ranganadham, said while fungal infections have been found in Covid-19 patients who are diabetic, in this case, although the patient has a history of high blood pressure there was no presence of diabetes, according to a report published in TOI.

“The paranasal sinuses are clear indicating that white fungus had not entered the brain through the nose unlike black fungus,” the specialist doctor said.

Elaborating on the condition of the patient that led to the rare discovery, Dr Ranganadham, who performed the surgery on the patient, said, the patient complained of weakness in the limb and difficulty in speech on the sixth day following hospitalisation with symptoms of Covid-19 virus, at a time when the second wave of the pandemic was at its peak. A brain scan revealed a large lesion in the left part and two small lesions in other areas.

The doctor said the patient was initially treated for haematoma, however, when another MRI of the brain was conducted it was found that the lesion had increased in size with dense and well-defined margins.

The doctor elaborated that the smaller lesions remained unchanged in size. Following surgery, the doctors “found a well-encapsulated abscess containing soft necrotic material, separate from normal brain.”

The medical team working in the case conducted a pathological analysis of the abscess and found it to be a case of white fungus infection, also known as Aspergillosis in medical terms.

Dr Ranganadham said the Aspergillosis of the central nervous system was caused after the white blood cells of the brain were invaded by the white fungus.

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