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Rev Clin Esp. 2003 Oct;203(10):472-4.

[Lung aspergillosis. Role of the corticoids as associated risk factor in the patient with chronic bronchitis].

[Article in Spanish]

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Comisión de Infecciones, Hospital del Mar, Instituto Municipal de Asistencia Sanitaria, Barcelona.



Description of a situation of incidence increase of bronchial secretions with positive cultures for Aspergillus fumigatus, and analysis of the related risk factors in the invasive aspergillosis.


Between January 1999 and February 2000, a prospective study of the patients was conducted with culture of bronchial secretions and with positive result for A. fumigatus.


age, sex, primary diagnosis, type of cultivated sample, clinical interpretation (colonization/infection), probable source (community/nosocomial), situation of the patient after discharge, and risk factors for opportunistic infection. The results were compared among the colonized and infected patients.


Fifty-two patients showed positive cultures of bronchial secretions to A. fumigatus, 43 (82.6%) colonized and 9 (17.3%) infected. Cultivated sputum sample on 30 occasions (57.6%) and bronchial aspiration in 22 (42.3%). Median age: 70 years (31-84). Sex: 40 men (76.9%). Probable source of infection/colonization: nosocomial in 18 cases (34.6%), community in 3 (5.7%) and unknown in 31 (59.6%). Mortality: 15 patient colonized (34.8%) and 8 infected (88.8%). Risk factors with statistical significance for invasive infection by A. fumigatus: diagnosis of chronic bronchopathy (COPD) (p=0.007) and treatment with prednisone in dose higher than 60 mg/day (p=0.0005).


The patients with positive culture of bronchial secretions to A. fumigatus with COPD and treatment with prednisone in dose higher than 60 mg/day should be considered with a greater risk for infection by this pathogen. A more restricted use and adequate of the corticoids in these patients, and an early diagnosis and treatment in light of the suspicion of infection by A. fumigatus in patients with COPD, it could imply a reduction of morbidity and mortality.

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