Which Are the Optimal Criteria for the Diagnosis of Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis? A Latent Class Analysis

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2021 Jan;9(1):328-335.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2020.08.043. Epub 2020 Sep 3.


Background: The ideal criteria for diagnosing allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) remain unknown because of the lack of a criterion standard. Latent class analysis using a probabilistic modeling technique can circumvent the need for a reference standard.

Objective: To compare the diagnostic performance of various criteria used for evaluating ABPA.

Methods: We prospectively enrolled consecutive cases of bronchial asthma and performed a series of investigations used for the diagnosis of ABPA. We used latent class analysis to analyze the performance of various existing and novel diagnostic criteria.

Results: Of the 543 subjects (mean age, 37 years; 319 women), 338 (62.2%) and 205 (37.8%) were labeled as "mild-to-moderate" and "severe" asthma cases, respectively. The subjects with severe asthma had a longer duration of asthma and a higher number of exacerbations in the previous year. The prevalence of Aspergillus fumigatus sensitization was 41% and 30%, using the A fumigatus-specific IgE and skin test, respectively. The prevalence of ABPA was 16%, using both the Rosenberg-Patterson and the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM)-ABPA Working Group criteria. The ISHAM criteria were slightly more sensitive (89% vs 81%) and specific (99% vs 98%) than the Patterson criteria. We obtained optimal diagnostic performance by altering the existing ISHAM criteria (serum total IgE >500 international units/mL, excluding the skin test, and using computed tomography of thorax instead of chest radiograph).

Conclusions: The ISHAM-ABPA Working Group criteria were only marginally better than the Patterson criteria in diagnosing ABPA among patients with asthma younger than 66 years. The diagnostic performance however improved by modifying the prevailing ISHAM criteria, but with increased cost.

Keywords: ABPA; Allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis; Allergy; Aspergillus; Asthma; Latent class analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary* / diagnosis
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary* / epidemiology
  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Asthma* / diagnosis
  • Asthma* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Latent Class Analysis
  • Male


  • Immunoglobulin E