The reversed halo sign as the initial radiographic sign of pulmonary zygomycosis

A. Busca, G. Limerutti, F. Locatelli, A. Barbui, F. G. De Rosa, M. Falda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zygomycosis is an emerging fungal infection that is associated with high mortality in hematological patients and stem cell transplantation (SCT) recipients. Radiology-computed tomography (CT) imaging in particular-facilitates the detection of lung involvement at an early stage of the infection. The reversed halo sign (RHS) has previously been reported in cryptogenetic organizing pneumonia and, more recently, as a manifestation of pulmonary zygomycosis. Here we describe a case of histologically proven zygomycosis due to Rhizopus microsporus in a SCT recipient. A chest CT scan performed on day +6 due to persistent fever unresponsive to antibiotics revealed the presence of the RHS, i.e., a focal ground-glass opacity mass surrounded by a solid ring of consolidation. The patient was treated with a combination of liposomal amphotericin B, caspofungin, and deferasirox, but subsequently developed a large pneumothorax and died on day +49 due to progressive infection. This case supports earlier observations that RHS may be an early radiological sign of zygomycosis, facilitating an aggressive diagnostic strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-80
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Invasive fungal infection
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Zygomycosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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