Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis in a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Prim Care Respir J. 2012 Mar;21(1):111-4. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2012.00001.


Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a debilitating lung disease which occurs as a result of interplay between a variety of host and environmental factors. It occurs in certain susceptible individuals who develop hypersensensitivity to the colonised Aspergillus species. ABPA is a complicating factor in 2% of patients with asthma and is also seen in patients with cystic fibrosis. Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are known to share key elements of pathogenesis. It is well known that ABPA can occur in patients with asthma, but it has recently been reported in patients with COPD as well. We report a 55-year-old male ex-smoker who presented with complaints of exertional breathlessness and productive cough for five years and an episode of haemoptysis four days prior to presentation. Spirometery showed airflow obstruction which was not reversible with bronchodilators. Chest CT scan revealed paraseptal emphysema along with central bronchiectasis (CB) in the right upper lobe and bilateral lower lobes. A type I skin hypersensitivity reaction to Aspergillus species was elicited. He fulfilled the serological criteria for ABPA and was diagnosed as having concomitant COPD and ABPA-CB. The patient was initiated on therapy for COPD along with oral corticosteroids, on which he had remarkable symptomatic improvement.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / complications*
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchiectasis / complications*
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed