Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in a patient with cirrhosis

IDCases. 2020 Feb 20;19:e00722. doi: 10.1016/j.idcr.2020.e00722. eCollection 2020.


Aspergillus molds are ubiquitous environmental molds that can cause devastating invasive infections in immunocompromised patients. These infections often go unrecognized in critically ill patients. This case describes a 68 year-old female resident of a long-term nursing facility with history of dementia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease stage III and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes who presented with vomiting, diarrhea and leg swelling. She developed hypotension and was treated for sepsis but found to have negative routine infectious workup. Chest imaging showed nodular densities and bilateral opacities. She developed acute renal failure and hypoxic respiratory failure followed by acute decompensated cirrhosis with refractory volume overload and hypotension and was eventually transitioned to comfort care measures. Autopsy ultimately showed invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Here we review the diagnosis and management of invasive fungal infections in critically ill patients without typical risk factors or clinical findings for invasive fungal disease. Invasive fungal infections are frequently missed and carry high mortality rates, therefore warranting consideration in critically ill populations.

Keywords: Aspergillosis; Cirrhosis; ICU; Immunosuppression; Invasive fungal infection.