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J Med Case Rep. 2012 Feb 14;6:62. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-6-62.

Chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis presenting as bilateral pleural effusion: a case report.

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Department of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Jalan Yaacob Latif, 56000, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



Chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis is an uncommon subacute form of Aspergillus infection. It typically occurs in immunocompromised individuals and in those with underlying lung disease. This interesting case highlights the occurrence of this entity of aspergillosis in an immunocompetent middle-aged woman with atypical radiological findings. To the best of our knowledge this is the first case report of chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis presenting with pleural effusion.


Our patient was a 64-year-old Malay woman with a background history of epilepsy but no other comorbidities. She was a lifelong non-smoker. She presented to our facility with a six-month history of productive cough and three episodes of hemoptysis. An initial chest radiograph showed bilateral pleural effusion with bibasal consolidation. Bronchoscopy revealed a white-coated endobronchial tree and bronchoalveolar lavage culture grew Aspergillus niger. A diagnosis of chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis was made based on the clinical presentation and microbiological results. She responded well to treatment with oral itraconazole.


The radiological findings in chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis can be very diverse. This case illustrates that this condition can be a rare cause of bilateral pleural effusion.

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