Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid Cytology in Culture-Documented Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis in Patients with Hematologic Diseases: Analysis of 67 Episodes

J Clin Microbiol. 2018 Sep 25;56(10):e00962-18. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00962-18. Print 2018 Oct.


There is a paucity of studies on the yield of Gomori-methenamine-silver (GMS) staining in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid cytology and its comparison with fluorescent dye staining for the diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in patients with hematologic malignancies. To that end, we analyzed the yield of direct fungal visualization in BAL fluid cytology with GMS staining, in a series of culture-positive IPA cases in 67 patients with hematologic malignancies, and we compared the results with those of direct examination with calcofluor white staining and BAL fluid galactomannan assays, when available. GMS staining in BAL fluid cytology was positive in 42% of the 67 cases and revealed coinfections in 7 cases. In contrast, only 2/67 (3.6%) BAL fluid samples were positive in direct smears stained with the fluorescent dye calcofluor white. Positive GMS staining results were significantly more frequent in IPA cases with cavitary lesions and IPA cases caused by >1 Aspergillus species, but the proportions of positive cytology results among Aspergillus species were not different.

Keywords: GMS; hematologic malignancy; invasive aspergillosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aspergillus / isolation & purification*
  • Aspergillus / metabolism
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / microbiology*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis / complications
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis / diagnosis*
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis / pathology
  • Methenamine / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Methenamine