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Rare: Black fungus in small intestine found in patients

New Delhi: In another revelation related to the rising cases of black fungus, Delhi's Ganga Ram Hospital on Saturday said it has found rare cases of Mucormycosis (black fungus) in the small intestine at the hospital.

A 56-year-old Delhi resident, who had lost three of his family members including his wife to COVID, had barely completed the last rites of his wife when he experienced pain in his abdomen. He had tested positive for Coronavirus along with his wife and had been experiencing mild symptoms initially, the hospital said in a statement.

His abdominal pain was considered gastritis or stress related and self medication for acidity was done, which delayed proper treatment by 3 days. He was finally evaluated in COVID emergency of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital by Dr Ushast Dhir, senior consultant in department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplantation.

The CT scan revealed his small intestine (jejunum) had perforated. His COVID disease also had worsened by now requiring ventilator support. The patient was admitted and taken up urgently for surgery, the hospital said.

"Ulceration of Jejunam (First part of Small Intestine) in the patient raised my suspicion of fungal disease and patient was immediately started on antifungal treatment . We sent the portion of removed intestine for biopsy," Dr Dhir said..

In another case, a 68-year-old Ijaz, had just recovered from Covid, post which he started having mild abdominal pain.

According to the hospital, he was a diabetic and had received steroids for treatment of COVID. "The patient had no associated fever and pain was very mild. His clinical examination also did not show any signs of intestinal perforation. But, high index of suspicion lead Dr Piyush Ranjan, senior consultant of Medical Gastroenterology at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital New Delhi, to get an urgent CT for the patient, where it was revealed small intestinal perforation similar to the first one," a statement from the hospital said.

The biopsy confirmed our worst fear of Mucormycosis of small intestine in both patients . Both these patients had COVID and had diabetes but only one of them had received steroids.

Both these patients were operated by Dr Ushast Dhir, who revealed that these patients had similar intra-operative findings where first part of small intestine(jejunum) had outpouchings called diverticula and these diverticula had perforated along with surrounding ulceration. The rise in number of black fungus, especially among diabetic patients have left the families worried and in a panic mode.

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