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Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Oct;53(7):671-6. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir441. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

Earlier response assessment in invasive aspergillosis based on the kinetics of serum Aspergillus galactomannan: proposal for a new definition.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Myeloma Institute forResearch and Therapy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.



Current criteria for assessing treatment response of invasive aspergillosis (IA) rely on nonspecific subjective parameters. We hypothesized that an Aspergillus-specific response definition based on the kinetics of serum Aspergillus galactomannan index (GMI) would provide earlier and more objective response assessment.


We compared the 6-week European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycoses Study Group (EORTC/MSG) response criteria with GMI-based response among 115 cancer patients with IA. Success according to GMI required survival with repeatedly negative GMI for ≥2 weeks. Time to response and agreement between the 2 definitions were the study endpoints.


Success according to EORTC/MSG and GMI criteria was observed in 73 patients (63%) and 83 patients (72%), respectively. The GMI-based response was determined at a median of 21 days after treatment initiation (range, 15-41 days), 3 weeks before the EORTC/MSG time point, in 72 (87%) of 83 responders. Agreement between definitions was shown in all 32 nonresponders and in 73 of the 83 responders (91% overall), with an excellent κ correlation coefficient of 0.819. Among 10 patients with discordant response (EORTC/MSG failure, GMI success), 1 is alive without IA 3 years after diagnosis; for the other, aspergillosis could not be detected at autopsy. The presence of other life-threatening complications in the remaining 8 patients indicates that IA had resolved.


The Aspergillus-specific GMI-based criteria compare favorably to current response definitions for IA and significantly shorten time to response assessment. These criteria rely on a simple, reproducible, objective, and Aspergillus-specific test and should serve as the primary endpoint in trials of IA.

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