Comparing the clinical characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19-associate pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA): a systematic review and meta-analysis

Infection. 2022 Feb;50(1):43-56. doi: 10.1007/s15010-021-01701-x. Epub 2021 Sep 27.


Purpose: Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis has been increasingly recognized in COVID-19 patients, termed COVID-19-associate pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA). Our meta-analysis aims to assess the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients diagnosed with CAPA compared to those without CAPA.

Methods: We searched the Pubmed, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, and Web of Science databases for studies published between January 1, 2020 and August 1, 2021, containing comparative data of patients diagnosed with CAPA and those without CAPA.

Results: Eight cohort studies involving 729 critically ill COVID-19 patients with comparative data were included. CAPA patients were older (mean age 66.58 vs. 59.25 years; P = 0.007) and had underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (13.7 vs. 6.1%; OR 2.75; P = 0.05). No differences in gender, body mass index (BMI), and comorbidities of diabetes and cancer were observed. CAPA patients were more likely to receive long-term corticosteroid treatment (15.0 vs. 5.3%; OR 3.53; P = 0.03). CAPA patients had greater severity of illness based on sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score with a higher all-cause in-hospital mortality rate (42.6 vs. 26.5%; OR 3.39; P < 0.001) and earlier ICU admission from illness onset (mean 11.00 vs. 12.00 days; P = 0.003). ICU length of stay (LOS), invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) duration, the requirement of inotropic support and renal replacement therapy were comparable between the two groups.

Conclusions: CAPA patients are typically older with underlying COPD and received long-term corticosteroid treatment. Furthermore, CAPA is associated with higher SOFA scores, mortality, and earlier onset of ICU admission from illness onset.

Keywords: CAPA; COVID-19; COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis; Coronavirus disease 2019; Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis; Outcomes; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Critical Illness
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis* / drug therapy
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis* / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • SARS-CoV-2