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ABSTRACT: Background Chromoblastomycosis is a subcutaneous mycosis, seen frequently in tropical areas, and caused by dematiaceous fungi. It produces nodulo-verrucous lesions in the arms and legs. There is no treatment of choice for this disease and sometimes a combination of chemotherapy and physical therapy is necessary. Methods The study included 12 patients diagnosed with chromoblastomycosis by means of fungal and histopathologic tests. The patients were assigned to three treatment groups: patients with small lesions, not greater than 15 cm2 in area, were assigned to Group 1, in which the treatment consisted of itraconazole 300 mg/day, or to Group 2, in which the treatment consisted of one or more sessions of open-spray cryosurgery. Patients with large lesions were assigned to Group 3 and started treatment with itraconazole 300 mg/day, until a maximal reduction of lesions occurred, and then underwent one or several cryosurgery sessions. Clinical, fungal, and laboratory tests were performed in each group before, during, and at the completion of treatment. Results Positive cultures of Fonsecaea pedrosoi were obtained in 11 out of 12 patients. Two out of four patients in Groups 1 and 3 had a clinical and fungal cure and the remaining patients experienced significant improvement. All four patients included in Group 2 achieved a cure. No important side-effects were seen among the patients included in any of the two itraconazole groups, and only two out of eight patients reported gastric discomfort. The cryosurgery group reported only normal complications of the process, such as edema and pain; two out of eight patients had a superimposed infection. Conclusions The results of itraconazole and cryosurgery were good in cases with small lesions; antifungal therapy being more appropriate for flexion areas. The combination of itraconazole, to reduce the size of the lesions, with subsequent treatment of the remaining lesions with cryosurgery, represents a new alternative in the treatment of patients with large lesions. Both types of therapy are considered safe, with few side-effects.
Hospital General de MexicoCiudad de México, The Federal District, Mexico