Isolated invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis: a clinical study of 19 cases

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 Jun;16(6):689-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.02923.x. Epub 2009 Aug 18.


Isolated invasive Aspergillus tracheobronchitis (iIATB) is an uncommon clinical form of invasive Aspergillosis in which Aspergillus infection is limited entirely or predominantly to the tracheobronchial tree. In the present study, we retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 19 patients who had histological documented iIATB in the Department of Respiratory Medicine of Changhai Hospital between October 2000 and February 2008. Malignancy was the most common underlying disease, which existed in 14 patients (73.7%) in our series. Most patients had impaired airway structures or defence functions, whereas the systemic immune status was relatively normal. Only three patients (15.8%) had neutropenia. The clinical manifestations and chest radiograph were nonspecific. We classified iIATB into four different forms according to the bronchoscopic features of intraluminal lesions: superficial infiltration type (Type I, n = 4), full-layer involvement type (Type II, n = 2), occlusion type (Type III, n = 6) and mixed type (Type IV, n = 7). Type IV was the largest group in our study, followed by Type III. All patients with iIATB of Type IV had definite airway occlusion. Fourteen patients (73.7%) had a good response to antifungal treatments and five (26.3%) died as a result of the progression of Aspergillosis, all of whom had full-layer invasion of the involved bronchi. In conclusion, we found that iIATB could occur in moderately or non-immunocompromised patients with impaired airway structures or defence functions and may be an early period of invasive pulmonary Aspergillosis. Most of the iIATB patients had a favourable prognosis with early diagnosis and effective antifungal treatment. The morphological features of intraluminal lesions might be of prognostic value.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis / microbiology*
  • Aspergillosis / pathology*
  • Aspergillus / isolation & purification*
  • Bronchitis / drug therapy
  • Bronchitis / microbiology*
  • Bronchitis / pathology*
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neutropenia / complications
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tracheitis / drug therapy
  • Tracheitis / microbiology*
  • Tracheitis / pathology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents