Clinical Features and Mortality of COVID-19-Associated Mucormycosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Atsuyuki Watanabe, Matsuo So, Hayato Mitaka, Yoshiko Ishisaka, Hisato Takagi, Ryota Inokuchi, Masao Iwagami, Toshiki Kuno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The recent increase of COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM) has been commanding global attention. However, basic epidemiologic characteristics have not firmly been established. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we sought to determine the clinical manifestations, potential risk factors, and outcomes of CAM. Observational studies reporting CAM were searched with PubMed and EMBASE databases in January 2022. We collected data on comorbidities and treatment for COVID-19, and performed a one-group meta-analysis on the frequency of orbital exenteration procedure and mortality of CAM using a random-effect model. Fifty-one observational studies, including a total of 2,312 patients with proven CAM, were identified. Among the 51 studies, 37 were conducted in India, 8 in Egypt, and 6 in other countries. The most common comorbidity was diabetes mellitus (82%). While 57% required oxygenation, 77% received systemic corticosteroids. Among CAM, 97% were rhino-orbital-cerebral (ROCM), and 2.7% were pulmonary mucormycosis. Usual presentations were headache (54%), periorbital swelling/pain (53%), facial swelling/pain (43%), ophthalmoplegia (42%), proptosis (41%), and nasal discharge/congestion (36%). Regarding the outcomes, orbital exenteration was performed in 17% (95% CI: 12–21%, I2 = 83%) of the COVID-19-associated ROCM patients. The mortality of CAM was 29% (95% CI; 22–36%, I2 = 92%). In conclusion, this systematic review and meta-analysis indicated that the most prevalent type of CAM was ROCM, and most CAM patients had diabetes mellitus and received systemic glucocorticoids. Clinicians in the endemic areas should have a high index of suspicion for this invasive fungal complication of COVID-19 when a diabetic patient who received high-dose systemic glucocorticoids developed rhino-orbital symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-289
Number of pages19
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Meta-analysis
  • Mucormycosis


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