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Cureus ; 13(12): e20569, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662859


Introduction Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease attributed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has shown associations with various fungal opportunistic infections such as mucormycosis, invasive candidiasis, and aspergillosis, which have contributed to the mortality of the disease. In India, the incidence of mucormycosis had risen rapidly during the second wave. There is ample literature demonstrating the role of iron in the pathogenesis of mucormycosis. The hyperferritinemia associated with COVID-19 may have played a significant role in promoting the invasion and extent of the fungus. Aims and objectives The study aimed to analyze the association between serum ferritin levels and the extent of involvement of mucormycosis in patients affected with COVID-19. Methodology A single-center cross-sectional study was conducted using retrospective hospital record data. G*Power statistical analysis software was used to compute the sample size of 62 (31+31). The radiological data were used to determine the extent of involvement. Results A statistically significant difference was seen in levels of serum ferritin (p = 0.008) between the radiologically judged two groups of the mild extent of invasion of mucormycosis (rhinosinusitis) and severe extent of invasion (rhino-orbital/cerebral mucormycosis), with a severe extent seen with the group having higher levels of serum ferritin. Severe extent of invasion was seen in 53.6% of patients with diabetes mellitus and 62.5% of patients with both diabetes and hypertension. Conclusion The hyperferritinemia not only presents as a marker of the systemic inflammatory process in COVID-19 but also indicates increased free iron, which thereby aids the growth and extent of involvement by the fungus (R hizopus oryzae). In individuals with diabetes and hypertension, the severity was greater. Controlling catastrophic outcomes in individuals with high serum ferritin levels necessitates extra caution.