Aspergillosis case-fatality rate: systematic review of the literature

Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Feb 1;32(3):358-66. doi: 10.1086/318483. Epub 2001 Jan 26.


To update the case-fatality rate (CFR) associated with invasive aspergillosis according to underlying conditions, site of infection, and antifungal therapy, data were systematically reviewed and pooled from clinical trials, cohort or case-control studies, and case series of >/=10 patients with definite or probable aspergillosis. Subjects were 1941 patients described in studies published after 1995 that provided sufficient outcome data; cases included were identified by MEDLINE and EMBASE searches. The main outcome measure was the CFR. Fifty of 222 studies met the inclusion criteria. The overall CFR was 58%, and the CFR was highest for bone marrow transplant recipients (86.7%) and for patients with central nervous system or disseminated aspergillosis (88.1%). Amphotericin B deoxycholate and lipid formulations of amphotericin B failed to prevent death in one-half to two-thirds of patients. Mortality is high despite improvements in diagnosis and despite the advent of newer formulations of amphotericin B. Underlying patient conditions and the site of infection remain important prognostic factors.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aspergillosis / complications
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis / mortality*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / mortality
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Central Nervous System Fungal Infections / mortality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cohort Studies
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutropenia / complications
  • Phosphatidylcholines / therapeutic use
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phosphatidylglycerols
  • liposomal amphotericin B
  • Amphotericin B