The efficacy and tolerability of voriconazole in the treatment of chronic cavitary pulmonary aspergillosis

J Infect. 2006 May;52(5):e133-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2005.08.022. Epub 2006 Jan 20.


Voriconazole is the second oral drug licensed for the treatment of aspergillosis. A retrospective non-comparative study was conducted in 16 patients with chronic cavitary pulmonary aspergillosis (CCPA) treated with voriconazole. All patients had failed or were intolerant of itraconazole. The duration of therapy varied from 3 days to 16.5 months. Eleven patients received at least 3 months of therapy with no significant adverse events. Overall seven (64%) patients had a response at 3 months as assessed by at least some fall in inflammatory markers, weight gain and reduction in pulmonary symptoms and two (18%) remained stable. Inflammatory markers improved in 5/11 (46%) with a mean fall in CRP of 0.08 mg/l and ESR of 12.8 mm/h. Aspergillus precipitins were quantitated by numbers of arcs and serum dilution and 11 (100%) showed improvement of at least one band or fall of titre. Total serum IgE was elevated (>200 IU/mL) in 5/11, and fell by a median of 118 kIU/l. Two patients failed therapy. Of the 17 patients, five (27%) had to discontinue therapy as a result of adverse events (three in under 1 week). Adverse events included erythematous rash (5), headaches (4), hepatotoxicity (3), photosensitive rash (3), retinal flashes (3) and neurological symptoms (3). Voriconazole is a useful alternative therapy for CCPA, with a response rate of 64%, over 3 months, and continuing partial remission of disease for much longer periods.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyrimidines / adverse effects
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Triazoles / adverse effects
  • Triazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Voriconazole


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Pyrimidines
  • Triazoles
  • Voriconazole