Objective: To prevent hemoptysis and relapse during subsequent chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in patients with localized forms of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, we adopted an aggressive surgical approach.
Methods: From 1988 to 1996, 18 patients with hematologic diseases were referred with the diagnosis of localized invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The diagnosis was based on clinical features, failure to respond to antibiotic therapy, an air crescent sign suggestive of aspergillosis on the computed tomographic scan (39%), and retrieval of fungi by bronchoalveolar lavage (44%).
Results: The following procedures were done: one pneumonectomy, four bilobectomies, seven lobectomies, six wedge resections, and one lobectomy with wedge resection (one patient had two procedures). No perioperative deaths or complications occurred. The histologic examination confirmed the diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in 12 patients. The six other diagnoses were as follows: one case of classic aspergilloma, one case of pneumonia, and four cases of pulmonary abscess. According to univariate analysis, thoracic pain was less common in the group with noninvasive pulmonary aspergillosis (1/6) than in the group with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (8/12) (p < 0.05). Sixteen patients required subsequent hematologic treatments. Sixty-six percent of the patients are alive with a mean follow-up of 29.1 +/- 27.8 months (range 2 to 103 months), with no statistically significant difference between the invasive and the noninvasive pulmonary aspergillosis groups. Five patients died of a recurrence of their malignant disease at a mean of 17.2 +/- 12.5 months (range 2 to 30 months), and one had a cerebral recurrence of Aspergillus infection during a bone marrow transplantation 3 months later.
Conclusion: Aggressive surgical management radically improves the prognosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, even if the surgical indications include some nonmycotic infections because of the difficulty in establishing the clinical diagnosis.