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Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Dec;23(12):1592-610.

Invasive aspergillosis in patients with hematologic malignancies.

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University of Houston College of Pharmacy, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Invasive aspergillosis is an increasingly common and often fatal opportunistic fungal infection in patients with hematologic malignancies. Prolonged and profound neutropenia remains a key risk factor for the development of invasive aspergillosis. However, qualitative deficiencies in host immune responses resulting from prolonged corticosteroid therapy, graft-versus-host disease, and cytomegalovirus infection are important risk factors for the recurrence and progression of Aspergillus infections after bone marrow recovery. Early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis remains a challenge, and few tools are available for monitoring its course once the diagnosis is established. Even with the recent introduction of new antifungal therapies, mortality in patients with invasive aspergillosis remains high, and uniformly effective prophylaxis or preemptive therapeutic strategies are lacking. Strategies such as combination antifungal therapy and immunotherapy often are used as first-line treatment approaches in patients with documented invasive aspergillosis despite a paucity of clinical trial data. Recent advances in our understanding of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of invasive aspergillosis in patients with hematologic malignancies are reviewed. The problems and controversies associated with defining optimal treatment strategies for invasive aspergillosis in this heavily immunocompromised population are highlighted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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