Pulmonary aspergillosis and the importance of oxalate crystal recognition in cytology specimens

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1986 Dec;110(12):1176-9.


A 62-year-old man, previously healthy but alcoholic, and who was clinically thought to have bacterial pneumonia, presented with a pulmonary infiltrate in the right apex, and suddenly died of exsanguinating hemoptysis. Sputum cultures yielded Aspergillus niger and Candida krusei while sputum cytology revealed numerous birefringent crystals in a background of acute inflammatory exudate. Autopsy findings showed invasive aspergillosis with a large mycetoma-containing cavity in the lung that was associated with localized massive oxalosis. This case further substantiates the fact that the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in pulmonary biopsy and cytology specimens can be regarded as an important diagnostic aid in the diagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis due to A niger.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillosis / complications
  • Aspergillosis / pathology*
  • Aspergillus niger
  • Calcium Oxalate / analysis*
  • Crystallization
  • Hemoptysis / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / complications
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sputum / analysis


  • Calcium Oxalate