Unusual forms of subacute invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in patients with solid tumors

M. Peghin, I. Ruiz-Camps, C. Garcia-Vidal, C. Cervera, J. Andreu, M. Martin, J. Gavaldá, C. Gudiol, A. Moreno, E. Felip, A. Pahissa

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16 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 The British Infection Association. Objectives: Aspergillus spp. can cause acute invasive disease in severely immunocompromised patients. Nonetheless, there are few reports of solid tumors complicated with subacute invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (subacute IPA). Methods: Retrospective observational cohort study, performed in patients with primary lung cancer or secondary lung metastasis complicated with subacute IPA in three referral hospitals. Results: From 2008 to 2011, 14 episodes of subacute IPA were diagnosed, including 11 (78.6%) probable and 3 proven (21.4%). Nine patients (64.3%) had primary lung cancer. Thirteen patients (92.9%) had more than one local or systemic predisposing factor for subacute IPA. No patient had previous fungal colonization. Aspergillus spp. was isolated in 6 specimens of bronchoalveolar lavage, 6 sputum, 2 biopsies, and 1 percutaneous lung puncture. At the time Aspergillus spp. was isolated, the most common radiologic findings on chest computed tomography (CT) were cavitary masses, and development or expansion of cavitation in existing masses or nodules (10/14, 71.4%). On CT follow-up, most patients (8/12, 66.7%) had new cavity formation or expansion of one or more existing cavities. All patients were treated with azoles and two underwent surgery. Ten (71.4%) patients died after Aspergillus spp. was detected (median time 73 days, IQR 33-243): 2 (20%) deaths were subacute IPA-attributable and 6 (60%) were related. Conclusions: Primary lung cancer and secondary lung metastasis seem to be triggering factors for Aspergillus spp. implantation, and predispose to subacute IPA. Once localized in the damaged lung, the mold can grow and cause or expand cavities. In lung cancer patients, Aspergillus spp. detection is associated with a very poor prognosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-395
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Aspergillus
  • Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis
  • Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung metastasis
  • Solid cancer
  • Solid tumors
  • Subacute invasive aspergillosis


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