Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is an infectious complication appearing mainly in immunosuppressed patients, whose diagnosis is often difficult and lately made, and that usually bears a dismal prognosis. Patients diagnosed as having IPA from 1989 to 1994 were retrospectively analyzed. Probable IPA was diagnosed on the basis of a positive culture for Aspergillus together with a consistent radiological image. Confirmed IPA was diagnosed if there was, in addition to the former, a pathological examination showing Aspergillus hifae invading pulmonary parenchyma and/or pulmonary vessels. There were 25 men and 8 women with a mean age of 53.7 ± 16.9 years (range: 22-86 years). IPA was confirmed in 11 cases and probable in 22. Sixty three percent of the patients had hematologic malignancy or solid cancer, whereas 30.3% did not have prior granulocytopenia or immunosuppressive therapy. The mean (SD) interval between admission and diagnosis was 40.2 (37.1) days (range: 1-180 days), and the diagnosis was made while the patient was still alive in 75% of the cases. Fifteen percent of the patients had extrapulmonary aspergillosis. The most frequent finding both on X-ray film of the chest and pulmonary computed tomography were bilateral multiple pulmonary nodules. Thirteen patients were treated with itraconazole, 6 with amphotericin B, 5 received both drugs, and 2 received fluconazole. Nineteen patients (57.6%) died and the case-fatality rate among treated patients was 46.1%. IPA presents mainly in immunosuppressed patients, but there was a not negligible proportion of patients lacking the classical risk factors. IPA is often a lately made diagnosis and in a quarter of the patients it is not made when the patient is alive. The most frequent radiological presentation are multiple bilateral nodules. The case-fatality rate of IPA is exceedingly high, even when if the patient has been adequately treated.
|Publication status||Published - 28 Mar 1998|