Serum galactomannan antigen test for the diagnosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis

J Infect. 2014 May;68(5):494-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2014.01.005. Epub 2014 Jan 24.


Background: A serum galactomannan (GM) antigen test has been widely used to diagnose invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. However, there are limited data on the use of the serum GM antigen test for the serologic diagnosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA).

Methods: Data were collected from all consecutive patients with a clinical suspicion of CPA who underwent a serum GM antigen test.

Results: In total, 334 patients who were suspected to have CPA were eligible for this study and 168 (50%) patients were finally diagnosed with CPA. The serum GM antigen test was positive in 38 (23%) patients with CPA and in 25 (15%) patients without CPA. The sensitivity of the serum GM antigen test was 23% (95% confidence interval [CI], 17-30%), and its specificity was 85% (95% CI, 79-90%), with positive and negative predictive values of 60% (95% CI, 47-72%) and 52% (95% CI, 46-58%), respectively. The accuracy of the test was 54%. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.538 (95% CI, 0.496-0.580).

Conclusion: The serum GM antigen test could not be used for the serologic diagnosis of CPA.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Galactomannan; Pulmonary aspergillosis; Serum.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antigens, Fungal / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Galactose / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mannans / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / diagnosis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serologic Tests / methods
  • Serum / chemistry


  • Antigens, Fungal
  • Biomarkers
  • Mannans
  • galactomannan
  • Galactose