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Papers of the Week

2020 Oct

Ann Transl Med



Obstructive jaundice secondary to fungal infection: a rare case report.


Zhong W, Wang P, Zhang C, Rao Z, Wang X, Pan X, Zhou H, Wang X
Ann Transl Med. 2020 Oct; 8(19):1250.
PMID: 33178782.


Obstructive jaundice is characterized by an obstruction of the intrahepatic or extrahepatic biliary system, and the most common causes include pancreatic and duodenal periampullary cancer. There have been some cases reporting obstructive jaundice caused by infection. Deep tissue infection usually develops in the individuals who are immunologically compromised or chronically ill, while a few cases reported in the immunocompetent patients. Those cases were diagnosed by fungal culture or percutaneous biopsy. Here, we presented an interesting case of obstructive jaundice secondary to fungal infection confirmed by postoperative pathological examination. A 79 years old man complaint about upper abdominal discomfort, darkened urine, and skin itch, with a history of esophageal cancer operation 5 years ago. The serology for hepatitis virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was negative. Imaging examinations showed a nodular located at distal common bile duct. As evidenced by increased level of cancer antigen 19-9 (CA19-9), the patient was highly suspected to be malignant obstructive jaundice. Thus, pylorus preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy (PPPD) was conducted. To our surprise, the ultimate diagnosis was fungal infection at the site of duodenum ampulla by the postoperative pathological examination, with no evidence of malignance. Anti-infective therapy was conducted subsequently, combined by fluconazole, sulperazone and tinidazole. Three weeks later, the patient was generally in good condition and discharged from hospital. During the 2-year follow-up, no fungal infection or tumor recurrence was observed. This case reminded us that fungal infection could be the cause of obstructive jaundice in an elderly person.