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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2005 Feb;35(3):303-6.

What is the clinical significance of positive blood cultures with Aspergillus sp in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients? A 23 year experience.

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Department of Microbiology-Infectious Diseases, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Quebec, Canada.


Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation is the most frequent underlying predisposing condition to invasive aspergillosis. However, the significance of positive blood culture with Aspergillus sp in this particular population remains uncertain. We retrospectively reviewed all blood cultures performed in 1453 patients who received HSC transplant at our institution between 1980 and 2002. We identified 19 patients with positive blood cultures with Aspergillus sp. Only one of these patients had clinical, histologic or microbiologic evidence of invasive aspergillosis. Thus, even in a population at highest risk for invasive aspergillosis, positive blood cultures with Aspergillus sp remain unusual, and cannot be readily associated with invasive aspergillosis. A case by case assessment by treating physicians of the clinical and radiologic parameters should be systematically made to establish the significance of aspergillemia. Single bottle positivity, obtained with the lysis-centrifugation blood culture system, is a common indicator of pseudoaspergillemia.

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