Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
Home About us Instructions Submission Subscribe Advertise Contact e-Alerts Ahead Of Print Login 
Users Online: 2113
Print this page  Email this page Bookmark this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

CASE REPORT Table of Contents   
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 556-558

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, SDM College of Dental Sciences, Sattur, Dharwad, India

Click here for correspondence address and email


Phaeohyphomycosis, caused by heterogeneous group of phaeoid fungi causes both subcutaneous and systemic infections. The disease is more of a histopathological than a clinical entity. We present a case of phaeohyphomycosis in a 29-year-old male who presented with the complaint of painful swelling of the right eye of 1-year duration. Computed tomography (CT) scan showed an abnormal hyper dense enhancing soft tissue in the extra coronal aspect of the right orbit along the superolateral and superomedial aspect. A provisional clinical diagnosis of lymphoma or fungal infection was entertained. Histopathology revealed granulomas with numerous multinucleated giant cells and fungal hyphae within and in between the giant cells. Per-iodic acid Schiff (PAS stain) was used to confirm the presence of hyphae. Based on the clinical, CT and histopathological features, a diagnosis of Phaeohyphomycosis was given.

Keywords: Masson-Fontana, phaeohyphomycosis, supraorbital region

How to cite this article:
Kumar K K, Hallikeri K. Phaeohyphomycosis. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2008;51:556-8

How to cite this URL:
Kumar K K, Hallikeri K. Phaeohyphomycosis. Indian J Pathol Microbiol [serial online] 2008 [cited 2023 Nov 30];51:556-8. Available from:

   Introduction Top

The taxonomy and terminology of dematiaceous fungal infections are difficult. The term phaeohyphomycosis was first coined by Ajello in 1974. [1] Earlier, some of the authors had proposed terms such as chloroblastomycosis. [2] Later, this term was modified as chloromycosis. [3] Phaeohyphomycosis is a an infection caused by dematiaceous fungi involving the skin and subcutis, paranasal sinuses or central nervous system. [4] The term subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis involves skin and subcutaneous tissue and it is characterised by a nodular or cystic lesion or a pyogranuloma. These hyphae appear to be brown-walled and they are present in the dermis and epidermis. [5] We report this case due to its clinical presentation.

   Case Report Top

A 29-year-old male agriculturist reported to the department of Oral Diagnosis and Radiology of a college of dental sciences with a complaint of swelling of right supraorbital region of one year and pain of 6-months duration. The patient was unaware of the swelling till his kin noticed the swelling. The pain was radiating to the temporal region and was of throbbing in nature. He gave history of lachrymal discharge from the right side during sleep. There was history of minor trauma of the supraorbital region while working in the filed.

Local examination showed a papulonodular swelling of approximately 3 2 cm over the supraorbital region. Borders were ill-defined and no ulceration was seen. There was mild displacement and proptosis of the right orbit [Figure 1]. On palpation, the swelling was soft in consistency and nontender. Superficial lymph nodes were not enlarged.

Complete hematological and serological investigations were within the normal limits. The CT scan revealed an abnormal hyper-dense enhancing soft tissue in the extra conal aspect of the right orbit and abnormal hyper-dense soft tissue in the right ethemoidal sinuses with the erosion of the lamina pepyracea and inferolateral aspect of the right frontal sinuses [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. There was minimal soft-tissue extension within the sinus. Right orbit proptosis was observed [Figure 4].

Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) was performed and the smears revealed multinucleated giant cells, chronic inflammatory cells and branching, septate hyphae. A diagnosis of fungal mass was offered. Incisional biopsy was performed to confirm the diagnosis.

The mass was encapsulated and measured 2 2 cm. Cut section was soft to firm in consistency, homogenous and greyish-white in color. Haematoxylin-and-eosin-stained sections revealed numerous giant cells [Figure 5] and [Figure 6]. Branching, septate and fungal hyphae were observed within and in between the giant cells [Figure 7]. There was diffuse, dense, chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate. Periodic acid Schiff (PAS) and Masson-Fontana stains were positive for the hyphae. In PAS stain, the hyphae appeared bright magenta-colored with branching septae [Figure 8]. Masson-Fontana stain revealed brownish black branching and septate hyphae [Figure 9]. The occupational, clinical and histomorphological features suggested the diagnosis of phaeohyphomycosis, subgroup Veronaea botryose (V. botryose) .

   Discussion Top

Phaeohyphomycosis is an infection caused by a heterogeneous group of phaeoid fungi. The disease is a histopathological, rather than a clinical entity. [6] More than 130 fungal species belonging to 70 diverse genera have been reported as causative agents in human and animal phaeohyphomycosis. [7] Subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis occurs throughout the world in all climates. In India, the climate ranges from tropical to temperate and the disease has been reported from the extreme north to south, except for the western and eastern regions. [4] Males are commonly involved because of their outdoor occupation. Eighteen cases of subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis reported from India, have involved the leg, foot, arm, toes and nails, waist, buttock, left thumb, hand, wrist and some disseminated. [4] No case with orbital involvement has been reported.

V. botryosa has been isolated from soil and organic materials. [8] In our case, source of the infection is likely to be from the soil. Ciferri and Montemartini (Cited in ref 9) describe the morphology and histopathology of V.botryosa .

Phaeohyphomycosis is a rare infection caused by dematiaceous fungi, involving the skin and subcutis, paranasal sinuses or central nervous system. We report a case of orbital infection caused by the fungus, morphologically identified as V. botryose.

   Acknowledgment Top

We would like to acknowledge the support of Prof. C. Bhasker Rao, Principal, SDM Collage of Dental Sciences, Dharwad and Dr. Ravikala Rao Professor and HOD, Department of Pathology, SDM Collage of Medical sciences, Dharwad for assistance in special staining.[9]

   References Top

1.Ajello L, George LK, Steigbigel RT, Wang CJ. A case of Phaeohyphomycosis caused by new species of phialophora. Mycology 1974;66:490-8.   Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Terra F, Torres M, da Fonseca O. Novo type de dermative verrucosa mycose por: Acrothecacom association de leishmoniosa. Braz Med 1992;2:363-8.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Moore M, de Alemeida F. Etiologic agents of chromomycosis (Chromoblastomycosis of Terra, Torres Fonseca and Leao 1992) of North and South America. Rev Bio Hyg 1935:6:94-7.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Sharma NL, Mahajan V, Sharma RC, Sharma A. Subcutaneous Phaeohyphomycosis in India: A case report and review. Int J Dermatol 2002; 41:16- 20.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Kwon - Chung KJ, Bennett JE. Phaeohyphomycosis. In: Medical Mycology. Pennsylvania: Lea and Febiger; 1992.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Suh MK. Phaeohyphomycosis in Korea. Nippon Ishinkin Gakkai Zasshi 2005;46:67-70.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Chandra J. Phaeohyphomycosis in Medical Mycology. 2 nd ed. Mehta Publication; 2003. p. 147-54.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Matsushita A, Jilong L, Hiruma M, Kobayashi M, Matsumoto T, Ogawa H, et al. Subcutaneous Phaeohyphomycosis caused by veronaea botryose in the people's Rupublic in China- case reports. J Clin Microbiol 2003;41:2219-22.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Ellis MB. Dermatiaceous hypomycetes, common wealth agricultural bureaux, Farnham Royal Slough; United Kingdom.  Back to cited text no. 9    

Correspondence Address:
K Kiran Kumar
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, SDM College of Dental Sciences, Sattur, Dharwad
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.43761

Rights and Permissions


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8], [Figure 9]

This article has been cited by
1 F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography image of rare case of phaeohyphomycosis causing osteomyelitis of scapula in a postrenal transplant recipient
KoramadaiKaruppusamy Kamaleshwaran, Elumalai Ramkumar, Vivek Pathak, SangitaSharma Mehta, SubhashManohar Kale
Indian Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 2022; 37(2): 202
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Ocular Phaeohyphomycosis Caused by Veronaea botryose
Samaneh Davoudi, Nishi Shah, Gibran Khurshid, Ankit Shah
Cornea. 2020; Publish Ah
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Phaeoacremonium parasiticum hand infection in renal transplant patient
SheejaT M Rajan,Sindhu Bhaskaran,Mamta George,SapnaHelen George
Journal of The Academy of Clinical Microbiologists. 2019; 21(1): 40
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Facial Phaeohyphomycosis in an Immunocompetent Individual: A Rare Presentation of a Rare Fungus
Gargi Kapatia, Tushar Pandey, Nandita Kakkar, Harsimran Kaur, Roshan Verma
The American Journal of Dermatopathology. 2019; 41(2): 137
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Immigration Brings New Pathology with No Standardized Treatment Protocol
Tara L. Harrington,Denten Eldredge,Erica K. Benson
Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. 2018; 108(6): 517
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 Subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis in kidney transplant recipients: A series of seven cases
Satish Haridasan,Sreejith Parameswaran,Srinivas Hanuman Bheemanathi,Laxmisha Chandrasekhar,Bibilash Babu Suseela,Rakesh Singh,Jayasurya Rabindranath,Rajesh Kumar Padhi,Ezhilnilavan Sampath,Avinash Kumar Dubey,Priyamvada Sivan Pillai Puthenpurackal
Transplant Infectious Disease. 2017; 19(6): e12788
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Unusual ocular presentations of ocular phaeohyphomycosis
A Maudgil,Z Johnson,N Rogers,H S Mudhar
Eye. 2016; 30(11): 1517
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 DemaDb: an integrated dematiaceous fungal genomes database
Chee Sian Kuan,Su Mei Yew,Chai Ling Chan,Yue Fen Toh,Kok Wei Lee,Wei-Hien Cheong,Wai-Yan Yee,Chee-Choong Hoh,Soon-Joo Yap,Kee Peng Ng
Database. 2016; 2016: baw008
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
9 Subcutaneous Pheohyphomycois-A rare mycotic infection from a North Himalayan State of India diagnosed on cytopathology
Smita Chandra, Vaidehi Vaidya, Meena Harsh, Harish Chandra, Rashmi Jindal
Journal of Cytology. 2016; 33(4): 240
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
10 An unusual finding in a subcutaneous cyst: A case of phaeohyphomycotic cyst
Vidya Pai,PremaC Saldanha
Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences. 2014; 2(2): 199
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
11 A Five-Year Survey of Dematiaceous Fungi in a Tropical Hospital Reveals Potential Opportunistic Species
Su Mei Yew,Chai Ling Chan,Kok Wei Lee,Shiang Ling Na,Ruixin Tan,Chee-Choong Hoh,Wai-Yan Yee,Yun Fong Ngeow,Kee Peng Ng,Ana Paula Arez
PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(8): e104352
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
12 Draft Genome Sequence of Herpotrichiellaceae sp. UM 238 Isolated from Human Skin Scraping
K. P. Ng,S. M. Yew,C. L. Chan,R. Tan,T. S. Soo-Hoo,S. L. Na,H. Hassan,Y. F. Ngeow,C.-C. Hoh,K. W. Lee,W.-Y. Yee
Genome Announcements. 2013; 1(1): e00148-12
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
13 Subcutaneous Phaeohyphomycosis Caused by <i>Phaeoacremonium</i> Species in a Kidney Transplant Patient: The First Case in Korea
Jonghyeon Choi, Yangsoon Lee, Hae-Sun Chung, Ja-Seung Koo, Dongeun Yong, Yu Sun Kim, Kyungwon Lee, Yunsop Chong
The Korean Journal of Laboratory Medicine. 2011; 31(3): 201
[VIEW] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded419    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 13    

Recommend this journal