Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis

Mycoses. 2014 May;57(5):257-70. doi: 10.1111/myc.12152. Epub 2013 Dec 2.


Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) is a group of consuming diseases usually presenting with prolonged and relapsing cough, dyspnoea and weight loss. Acute symptoms such as haemoptysis and bronchial or pulmonary haemorrhage may occasionally occur. CPA affects patients with underlying pulmonary conditions, for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or mycobacteriosis or common immunosuppressive conditions such as diabetes. Precise epidemiology is unknown, and while prevalence is considered low the chronic and relapsing nature of the disease challenges the treating physician. Diagnostics largely rely on serologic Aspergillus precipitins and findings on thoracic computed tomography. The latter are manifold comprising cavity formation, pleural involvement and sometimes aspergilloma. Other markers for aspergillosis are less helpful, in part due to the non- or semi-invasive nature of these forms of Aspergillus infection. Various antifungals were shown to be effective in CPA treatment. Azoles are the most frequently applied antifungals in the outpatient setting, but are now compromised by findings of Aspergillus resistance. Long-term prognosis is not fully elucidated and may be driven by the underlying morbidities. Prospective registry-type studies may be suitable to systematically broaden our CPA knowledge base. This article gives an overview of the available literature and proposes a clinical working algorithm for CPA management.

Keywords: Chronic cavitary pulmonary aspergillosis; chronic fibrosing pulmonary aspergillosis; chronic necrotising pulmonary aspergillosis; complex aspergilloma; semi-invasive aspergillosis; subacute aspergillosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillus / genetics
  • Aspergillus / isolation & purification
  • Aspergillus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents