Obstructive lung diseases and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2021 Mar 1;27(2):105-112. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000755.


Purpose of review: Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a disease frequently complicating asthma and cystic fibrosis. ABPA is increasingly recognized in other obstructive lung diseases (OLDs), including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Herein, we summarize the recent developments in ABPA complicating OLDs.

Recent findings: Recent research has described the clinical features and natural history of ABPA complicating asthma in children and the elderly. We have gained insights into the pathophysiology of ABPA, especially the role of eosinophil extracellular trap cell death and mucus plugs. The utility of recombinant fungal antigens in the diagnosis of ABPA has been established. Newer, more sensitive criteria for the diagnosis of ABPA have been proposed. Although ABPA is uncommon in COPD and noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis, aspergillus sensitization is more common and is associated with a higher exacerbation rate.

Summary: Several advances have occurred in the diagnosis and treatment of ABPA in recent years. However, there is an unmet need for research into the genetic predisposition, pathophysiology, and treatment of ABPA. Apart from asthma and cystic fibrosis, patients with other OLDs also require evaluation for Aspergillus sensitization and ABPA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary* / diagnosis
  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Asthma*
  • Bronchiectasis* / diagnosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis* / complications
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive*