Subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis due to Alternaria infectoria in a renal transplant patient: surgical treatment with no long-term relapse
Background: Phaeohyphomycosis can be caused by a number of different species, being the most common Alternaria alternata and Alternaria infectoria. The biggest risk factor for the development of the infection is immunosuppression.
Aims: We present the case of a 64-year-old male renal transplant patient who came to hospital for presenting a tumour in the Achilles region which had been gradually growing in size.
Methods: A skin biopsy was taken for histological study and culture of fungi and mycobacteria. Blood tests and imaging studies were performed.
Results: Histopathology study and cultures identified A. infectoria as the causal agent. Imaging studies ruled out internal foci of infection. The lesion was surgically removed with no signs of recurrence after 24 months of follow-up.
Conclusions: There are no treatment guidelines at present for cutaneous and subcutaneous Alternaria spp. infections. Various systemic antifungals have been used, either in combination with surgical removal or alone, with varying results. Surgery alone could be useful in the treatment of solitary, localised lesions in transplant patients in whom there are difficulties in controlling immunosuppression.