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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 1988 Jul-Sep;83(3):357-60.

Aspergillus fumigatus fungus ball in hospitalized patients with chronic pulmonary disease. Usefulness of double immunodiffusion test as a screening procedure.

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Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Departamento de Imunologia, Hospital Evandro Chagas, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.


Double immunodiffusion (DID) was used as a screening test for the diagnosis of aspergillosis. Three hundred and fifty patients were tested, all of them referred from a specialized chest disease hospital and without a definitive etiological diagnosis. When DID was positive additional information such as clinical history and radiographic findings were requested and also surgical specimens were obtained whenever possible. Specific precipitin bands for Aspergillus fumigatus antigen were found in 29 (8.3%) of 350 patients sera. Nineteen (65.5%) of the 29 patients with positive serology were recognized as having a fungus ball by X-rays signs in 17 or by pathological examination in 2 or by both in 8 patients. This two-year prospective study has shown that pulmonary aspergillosis is a considerable problem among patients admitted to a Chest Diseases Hospital, especially in those with pulmonary cavities or bronchiectasis.

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