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Chron Respir Dis. 2008;5(1):19-27. doi: 10.1177/1479972307085637.

Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in patients with COPD: a report of five cases and systematic review of the literature.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Harper University Hospital, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There are increasing reports describing invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) without the classic risk factors for this severe infection. The available literature on this association is based on case reports or small case series. The aim of this review is to systematically review these cases and describe the clinical features, diagnostic studies and outcome.

METHODS:

We identified all the cases of IPA and COPD reported in the literature and had enough clinical information. We also included five cases of IPA in patients with COPD identified by the authors. These cases were systematically reviewed for clinical features, diagnostic studies and outcome.

RESULTS:

There were 60 cases of IPA in patients with COPD identified from the literature. The total number of cases reviewed was 65. The mean age was 65.1 years, the mean FEV1 was 39% of predicted (n = 17, range 19-56%). Forty-nine patients were documented to be on systemic corticosteroids. The mean dose was 24 mg/day (range 15-65 mg/day). Five patients were only on inhaled corticosteroids and in 11 patients there was no documentation of corticosteroid therapy. The clinical and radiological findings were nonspecific. Thirteen patients had documented evidence of disseminated IPA. Sputum examination was positive for Aspergillus in 76% and bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage that was positive in 70%. The diagnosis of IPA was definite in 43 patients and probable in 22 patients. Forty-six patients were treated with anti-fungal therapy. Fifty-nine patients (91%) died with IPA.

CONCLUSION:

Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis is an emerging serious infection in patients with COPD. The majority of these patients have advanced COPD and/or on corticosteroid therapy. The clinical and radiological presentation is nonspecific. High index of suspicion is necessary for the timely treatment of these patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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