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Cureus. 2019 Apr 27;11(4):e4550. doi: 10.7759/cureus.4550.

Diagnosing Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis: A Review.

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Internal Medicine, Northern California Kaiser Permanente, Fremont, USA.
Internal Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, CHN.
Pulmonary Medicine, Marshall University School of Medicine, Huntington, USA.


Dr. Hinson and his colleagues first described allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) in 1952. Later in 1977, Rosenberg proposed a diagnostic criteria for ABPA that even today remains widely acknowledged. Despite these steps taken, there still isn't a standardized diagnostic criteria set for ABPA although many have been proposed by various physicians over the years. ABPA is a condition caused by hypersensitivity to Aspergillus fumigatus antigens. It is seen most commonly in patients with either asthma or cystic fibrosis. In susceptible hosts, repeated inhalation of Aspergillus spores can cause an allergic response. Although a standardized diagnostic criteria is re-quired, there is no single test that establishes the diagnosis oth-er than a demonstration of central bronchiectasis (CB) with nor-mal tapering bronchi, a feature that is still considered pathognomonic of ABPA. Because of lack of standardized diagnostic criteria and screening, even today ABPA is under diagnosed and often times treatment for it is delayed. This can lead to complications in patients like pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiectasis with chronic sputum production, and increasingly severe persistent asthma with loss of lung function. For this alone, it becomes imperative that the diagnostic criteria guidelines need to be reviewed and standardized preferably with the help of larger research studies. In the following review article, we address the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and the current cumulative view regarding the diagnosis of ABPA.


allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; aspergillosis; aspergillus fumigatus; asthma; central bronchiectasis; cystic fibrosis; eosinophilia

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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