Objective and background: To investigate the characteristic clinical features of chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis (CNPA) as a complication of pulmonary Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease.
Methods: Clinical analysis of nine cases without a history of old pulmonary tuberculosis in whom CNPA was found to be a complication during the follow-up period for MAC disease.
Results: The average duration from the diagnosis of pulmonary MAC disease to the diagnosis of CNPA was 36.0 months. Five patients received antituberculous therapy including clarithromycin for pulmonary MAC disease, but this treatment was ineffective in most. A positive culture for Aspergillus spp. from sputum and a bronchoscopic specimen and clinical evidence of a chronic infective process were recognized in all cases at the time of detection of CNPA. Serological fungal examinations for anti-Aspergillus IgG antibody were initially negative and became positive in all cases during the follow-up period of pulmonary MAC disease. The presence of CNPA surrounding the cavity previously caused by MAC was characterized by local thickening of the cavity with a fungus ball and the appearance of an infiltration shadow surrounding the cavity. In most of the cases, CNPA was at first treated with oral itriconazole and then with i.v. infusion of micafungin, but the clinical efficacy was generally poor.
Conclusion: The results of this study showed that during the long follow-up period of patients with pulmonary MAC disease it is important to not only carry out serological examinations, but also perform radiological examinations using chest CT.