Clinicopathologic characteristics of paranasal sinus fungus ball: retrospective, multicenter study in Korea

Dae Woo Kim, Yong Min Kim, Jin Young Min, Jeong Whun Kim, Jin Kook Kim, Ji Hun Mo, Jae Min Shin, Kyu Sup Cho, Sang Gyu Kwak, Seung Heon Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Fungus ball (FB) is the most common type of fungal rhinosinusitis and the prevalence of FB has increased over the past 10 years. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical characteristics of Korean adult patients with FB and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) without FB. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data on 1362 patients (147 FB and 1215 CRS) who underwent endoscopic sinus surgery at nine Korean medical centers in 2005, 2010, and 2016. We evaluated the prevalence of FB and compared the clinical characteristics of FB and CRS. Medical records, computed tomography (CT) findings, atopic status, concomitant diseases, tissue, and blood eosinophil count were assessed. Results: The prevalence of FB was significantly higher in 2016 (15.9%) than in the other years (7.8% in 2005 and 7.5% in 2010). The FB patients were more likely to be female, older, have unilateral disease and less likely to have allergy compared to the CRS patients. The most common main complaint related to CRS and FB was nasal obstruction. CT determined that unilateral disease and maxillary sinus dominancy were common in patients with FB. The incidence of concomitant diseases was much higher in FB, with lower tissue and blood eosinophilia. Conclusion: FB is commonly encountered in older women with the increased prevalence. FB had a different clinical presentation, radiological findings, and prognosis than CRS. Further studies are needed to understand the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the development of FB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-765
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020



  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Fungus ball
  • Multicenter study
  • Retrospective study

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