Aspergillus and endobronchial abnormalities in lung transplant recipients

Chest. 2000 Aug;118(2):403-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.118.2.403.


Study objective: To determine the relationship between aspergillus recovery from the airways of lung transplant recipients and the development of endobronchial abnormalities.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Setting: Tertiary-care hospital.

Patients: All patients who underwent lung transplantation between December 1991 and June 1999.

Measurements and results: The study cohort included 38 patients. The primary end point was the bronchoscopic identification of an endobronchial abnormality. Aspergillus was isolated from the lungs of nine patients (23.7%). Most of these isolates occurred early after transplantation (mean, 8 weeks). Endobronchial abnormalities arose in seven of the patients (18.4%) and manifested as either exuberant granulation tissue or stricture formation. Six of the 9 (66.6%) patients with aspergillus developed airway lesions, compared to 1 of the 29 patients (3.4%) without aspergillus (p = 0.0002). Endobronchial abnormalities were 19.3 times more likely to occur in patients in whom aspergillus had previously been isolated. As a screening test for the subsequent diagnosis of an airway complication, the recovery of aspergillus had a sensitivity and specificity of 85.7% and 90.3%, respectively. These aspergillus-related endobronchial abnormalities were clinically relevant as evidenced by a mean increase of 25.9% in the FEV(1) after bronchoscopic intervention.

Conclusion: The early isolation of aspergillus from the airways of lung transplant recipients identifies patients at increased risk for the development of clinically significant endobronchial abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillosis / microbiology*
  • Aspergillosis / physiopathology
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / isolation & purification*
  • Bronchial Diseases / microbiology*
  • Bronchial Diseases / physiopathology
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / microbiology*
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / physiopathology
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recovery of Function
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Infection / microbiology*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / physiopathology