Sinobronchial allergic mycosis: the SAM syndrome

Chest. 2002 May;121(5):1670-6. doi: 10.1378/chest.121.5.1670.


We contend that the presence of concomitant allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS) and allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis in the same patient represents an expression of the same process of fungal hypersensitivity in the upper and lower airways. We have termed this process the SAM syndrome, an acronym for sinobronchial allergic mycosis. Diagnostic criteria have been established for the SAM syndrome, and the clinical characteristics of one previously unreported and four previously reported patients have been tabulated. Patients with the SAM syndrome have chronic sinusitis involving multiple sinuses, asthma, immediate cutaneous reactivity to fungal allergens, peripheral eosinophilia, and radiographic evidence of bronchiectasis. Total serum IgE levels are usually elevated as well. A variety of chest radiographic abnormalities may occur, ranging from mass lesions to diffuse pulmonary infiltrates and even normal findings on chest radiographs. Patients present for an evaluation of either sinus or lung disease and, at that time, demonstrate no clinical features that distinguish them from patients with isolated sinus or lung disease. All patients reported to date have had clinical responses to therapy with corticosteroids. We postulate that SAM is underdiagnosed in patients with AFS, a disease recently reported from medical centers in the southeastern and western United States. Moreover, since our patient had a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductor regulator (CFTR) gene, we further hypothesize that CFTR gene mutations may play an important role in the pathogenesis of the SAM syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Chronic Disease
  • Fungi / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / diagnosis*
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / immunology
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / microbiology
  • Male
  • Mycoses / diagnosis*
  • Mycoses / immunology
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / microbiology
  • Sinusitis / diagnosis*
  • Sinusitis / etiology
  • Sinusitis / immunology
  • Sinusitis / microbiology
  • Syndrome