An official American Thoracic Society statement: Treatment of fungal infections in adult pulmonary and critical care patients

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Jan 1;183(1):96-128. doi: 10.1164/rccm.2008-740ST.


With increasing numbers of immune-compromised patients with malignancy, hematologic disease, and HIV, as well as those receiving immunosupressive drug regimens for the management of organ transplantation or autoimmune inflammatory conditions, the incidence of fungal infections has dramatically increased over recent years. Definitive diagnosis of pulmonary fungal infections has also been substantially assisted by the development of newer diagnostic methods and techniques, including the use of antigen detection, polymerase chain reaction, serologies, computed tomography and positron emission tomography scans, bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy, and video-assisted thorascopic biopsy. At the same time, the introduction of new treatment modalities has significantly broadened options available to physicians who treat these conditions. While traditionally antifungal therapy was limited to the use of amphotericin B, flucytosine, and a handful of clinically available azole agents, current pharmacologic treatment options include potent new azole compounds with extended antifungal activity, lipid forms of amphotericin B, and newer antifungal drugs, including the echinocandins. In view of the changing treatment of pulmonary fungal infections, the American Thoracic Society convened a working group of experts in fungal infections to develop a concise clinical statement of current therapeutic options for those fungal infections of particular relevance to pulmonary and critical care practice. This document focuses on three primary areas of concern: the endemic mycoses, including histoplasmosis, sporotrichosis, blastomycosis, and coccidioidomycosis; fungal infections of special concern for immune-compromised and critically ill patients, including cryptococcosis, aspergillosis, candidiasis, and Pneumocystis pneumonia; and rare and emerging fungal infections.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Critical Care / standards*
  • Critical Illness / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Respiratory Care Units / standards*
  • Societies, Medical*
  • United States


  • Antifungal Agents