Incidence and outcomes of patients with COVID-19 associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) in intensive care units: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 31 cohort studies

Ann Palliat Med. 2022 Jul;11(7):2202-2209. doi: 10.21037/apm-21-2043. Epub 2022 Mar 1.


Background: We aimed to identify studies systematically that describe the incidence and outcome of COVID-19-related pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA).

Methods: We searched ScienceDirect, PubMed, CNKI, and MEDLINE (OVID) from December 31, 2019 to November 20, 2021 for all eligible studies. Random-model was used to reported the incidence, all-cause case fatality rate (CFR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The meta-analysis was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021242179).

Results: In all, thirty-one cohort studies were included in this study. A total of 3,441 patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) were investigated and 442 cases of CAPA were reported (30 studies). The pooled incidence rate of CAPA was 0.14 (95% CI: 0.11-0.17, I2=0.0%). Twenty-eight studies reported 287 deceased patients and 269 surviving patients. The pooled CFR of CAPA was 0.52 (95% CI: 0.47-0.56, I2=3.9%). Interestingly, patients with COVID19 would develop CAPA at 7.28 days after mechanical ventilation (range, 5.48-9.08 days). No significant publication bias was detected in this meta-analysis.

Discussion: Patients with COVID-19 admitted to an ICU might develop CAPA and have high all-cause CFR. We recommend conducting prospective screening for CAPA among patients with severe COVID-19, especially for those who receive mechanical ventilation over 7 days.

Keywords: COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA); case fatality rate (CFR); incidence.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis* / epidemiology