Fungus balls of the urinary tract are rare and usually associated with infection by Candida albicans. Since 1968 five patients seen at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals presented with this peculiar manifestation of candidiasis. Summaries of their epidemiologic, clinical, pathologic, and mycologic data are presented. All Candida fungus balls involved the upper collecting system and were detected by radiography and confirmed by culture and/or pathologic section. Two of the five patients completely recovered. Three patients were treated with flucytosine and/or local irrigation with a polyene antifungal agent. Two recovered and the third died of probable bacterial sepsis. One patient was treated successfully with surgical removal of the fungus ball and a brief period of local irrigation with amphotericin B (AMB). The fifth patient recovered after 28 days of parenteral AMB. Predisposing factors and pathogenetic mechanisms are discussed, and a rational approach to therapy is outlined.
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