Pulmonary fungal infections in patients with hematological malignancies--diagnostic approaches

Ann Hematol. 1995 Mar;70(3):135-41. doi: 10.1007/BF01682033.


In a retrospective study of 56 patients with hematological malignancies and fungal pneumonia we have analyzed the value of different diagnostic procedures. In all patients (Candida n = 29, Aspergillus n = 23, mixed fungal infection n = 4) bronchoscopy and/or high-resolution computed tomography of the lungs was performed. Cultural detection of fungi in bronchoalveolar lavage was successful in 23/32 Candida and 11/23 Aspergillus pneumonias. Other relevant pathogens were identified by bronchoscopy in 21 cases. Thorax CT scans showed diagnostic evidence of fungal pneumonia in 10/13 Candida and in 16/18 Aspergillus infections. Blood cultures were positive in 9/33 Candida pneumonias and in none of aspergillosis cases. Serological testing and surveillance cultures had only limited value for the early diagnosis of pulmonary mycosis. Our data suggest that bronchoscopy and high resolution CT scans are mutually complementary diagnostic tools with high sensitivity in patients with hematological malignancies and new pulmonary infiltrates. These procedures facilitate the early and reliable recognition of invasive fungal disease which may have a bearing on the initiation, length, and differential therapy of antimycotic drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Fungal / blood
  • Aspergillosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aspergillosis* / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis* / immunology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / microbiology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / virology
  • Candidiasis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Candidiasis* / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis* / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / complications*
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / complications*
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia / microbiology
  • Radiography
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Fungal