Pathophysiology of unilateral pulmonary aspergillosis in an experimental rat model

Med Mycol. 2006 Mar;44(2):133-9. doi: 10.1080/13693780500271749.


Because little is known about the pathophysiology of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA), we examined changes in pulmonary and general physiology during this disease in an animal model. In a model of fatal left-sided IPA, 19 persistently neutropenic rats were monitored for clinical signs including body temperature, body weight and respiratory distress. A separate group of nine rats with IPA was used for measurements of arterial blood pressure, arterial O2 and CO2 pressure, lung compliance and surfactant function. Body temperature and body weight decreased, whereas respiratory distress increased during progression of the disease. Compared to uninfected controls, in rats with IPA arterial blood pressure and lung compliance were significantly lower, and left lung minimal surface tension was significantly higher. Right lung surfactant function was not affected. Arterial O2 and CO2 pressures were not different between rats with IPA and uninfected controls. Infection with Aspergillus fumigatus in neutropenic rats resulted in hypothermia, body weight loss and respiratory distress. Loss of left lung function was probably compensated by the uninfected right lung, even in a late stage of the disease. Circulatory failure was a major feature in the terminal phase of the infection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspergillosis / blood
  • Aspergillosis / microbiology
  • Aspergillosis / physiopathology*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / growth & development*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Temperature / physiology
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / blood
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / microbiology
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / physiopathology*
  • Neutropenia / microbiology
  • Rats
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Sounds / physiopathology
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Surface Tension