Aspergillus bronchitis is poorly understood and described. We extracted clinical data from more than 400 referred patients with persistent chest symptoms who did not fulfill criteria for allergic, chronic, or invasive aspergillosis. Symptomatic patients with a positive culture or real-time PCR for Aspergillus spp. were reviewed. Seventeen patients fulfilled the selected criteria. Fourteen were women, with a mean age of 57 years (range 39-76). Sixteen of the patients had productive cough, eight had voluminous tenacious sputum, and seven had recurrent chest infections. Eight patients had Medical Research Council dyspnea scores of 4-5; 12 had bronchiectasis; and 13 patients grew A. fumigatus, 3 A. niger, and 1 A. terreus. Twelve of the 17 patients (71%) had elevated Aspergillus IgG (47-137 mg/L, mean 89.2) and 5 (29%) had elevated Aspergillus precipitins. Six of 12 (50%) had a major response to antifungal therapy and five of 12 (42%) patients relapsed, requiring long-term therapy. Aspergillus bronchitis is a discrete clinical entity in patients with structural lung disease but who are not significantly immunocompromised. It is distinct from asymptomatic fungal colonization and other forms of aspergillosis, and may respond to antifungal therapy.
© 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.