Developments in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2016 Dec;10(12):1317-1334. doi: 10.1080/17476348.2016.1249853. Epub 2016 Nov 7.


Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a complex pulmonary disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of wheezing, fleeting pulmonary opacities and bronchiectasis. It is the most prevalent of the Aspergillus disorders with an estimated five million cases worldwide. Despite six decades of research, the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of this condition remains controversial. The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology has formed a working group to resolve the controversies around this entity. In the year 2013, this group had proposed new criteria for diagnosis and staging, and suggested a treatment protocol for the management of this disorder. Since then, several pieces of new evidence have been published in the investigation and therapeutics of this condition. Areas covered: A non-systematic review of the available literature was performed. We summarize the current evidence in the evaluation and treatment of this enigmatic disorder. We suggest modifications to the existing criteria and propose a new scoring system for the diagnosis of ABPA. Expert commentary: All patients with asthma and cystic fibrosis should routinely be screened for ABPA using A. fumigatus-specific IgE levels. Glucocorticoids should be used as the first-line of therapy in ABPA, and itraconazole reserved in those with recurrent exacerbations and glucocorticoid-dependent disease.

Keywords: ABPA; ABPM; Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; Aspergillus; allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis; allergy; asthma; cystic fibrosis; fungal sensitization.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / complications
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / therapy*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans


  • Glucocorticoids