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J Clin Microbiol. Dec 1995; 33(12): 3150–3153.
PMCID: PMC228662

Comparison of antigen detection and PCR assay using bronchoalveolar lavage fluid for diagnosing invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in patients receiving treatment for hematological malignancies.


The performance of a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) which detects Aspergillus galactomannan (GM) was evaluated in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples from 19 patients who were treated for hematological malignancies and who were suspected of having invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). All patients had fever and pulmonary infiltrates on the chest roentgenogram on the day that the BAL fluid was obtained. The ELISA results were compared with the results of culture and Aspergillus genus-specific PCR analysis of BAL fluid samples. ELISA was also performed with serum samples. Aspergillus species were detected by PCR or ELISA with BAL fluid samples from five of seven patients who had radiological evidence of IPA. Serum ELISA results were positive for all patients with ELISA-positive BAL fluid, and for four patients the serum ELISA was positive before the BAL fluid was obtained. PCR and ELISA were positive for 2 and 1 of 10 BAL fluid samples, respectively, obtained from patients without radiological evidence of IPA, and 5 and 2 of 35 BAL fluid samples, respectively, obtained from nonneutropenic patients. This preliminary investigation suggests that GM may be detected by ELISA in BAL fluid samples from patients at risk of IPA, but that monitoring of serum GM levels may allow for the earlier diagnosis of IPA. However, further evaluation in prospective studies is required.

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Selected References

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