Role of early diagnosis and aggressive surgery in the management of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in neutropenic patients

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2001:7 Suppl 2:54-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2001.tb00010.x.


Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) occurs mostly in immunocompromised hosts and especially in neutropenic patients. Improved prognosis for IPA requires early diagnosis. We report our experience in the management of IPA in patients with hematological malignancies. In prolonged neutropenia (> 10 days), thoracic CT scanning seems to be the best choice for the diagnosis of IPA (with CT halo or air-crescent signs). Its systematic use allows a dramatic reduction in the time to achieve the diagnosis, if there is evidence of a halo sign. The systematic screening for the detection of Aspergillus antigenemia with an ELISA test is helpful for early diagnosis. The detection of Aspergillus antigen (with the less sensitive latex agglutination test) on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid may also be as useful. The treatment of IPA relies on amphotericin B (or its lipid formulations) or on azole antifungal agents. Pulmonary surgical resection should be considered either as an emergency procedure (despite persistent neutropenia) to avoid massive hemoptysis, or as an elective or diagnostic procedure. This global strategy for the management of IPA is associated with a 75-80% success rate in hematological patients. Nevertheless, the control of underlying malignancy remains a major prognostic factor.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Fungal / analysis*
  • Antigens, Fungal / blood
  • Aspergillosis / diagnosis*
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis / surgery
  • Aspergillus / growth & development
  • Aspergillus / immunology*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / diagnosis*
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutropenia / complications*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antigens, Fungal