Surgical therapy for pulmonary aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients

Ann Thorac Surg. 1998 May;65(5):1415-9. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(98)00097-6.


Background: Medical management for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is often unsatisfactory. Antifungal therapy may be unable to eradicate IPA in the immunocompromised or neutropenic patient.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the surgical management of IPA in 13 immunocompromised patients at our institution. Twelve patients underwent perioperative bone marrow transplantation (4 autologous, 8 allogenic). All 13 patients received antifungal therapy. Eleven patients were neutropenic at the time of operation.

Results: The mean interval from diagnosis of aspergillosis to operation was 42 days (range, 3 to 135 days). Eighteen operations were performed on the 13 patients. Seven patients had resections from multiple pulmonary sites, whereas 6 had a single lesion resected. The average lesion resected was 3.7 cm in greatest diameter (range, 1 to 9 cm). After a mean follow-up of 21 months (range, 0 to 9 years), 3 patients (23%) are alive with no evidence of aspergillosis, 6 patients (46%) died without evidence of aspergillosis, and 4 patients (31%) died secondary to aspergillus infection. All 4 patients who died of aspergillus infection received an allogenic bone marrow transplantation. Two patients with direct extrapulmonic extension of IPA at time of operation died of recurrent aspergillus infections. Three of 4 patients who died of aspergillus infection had an absolute neutrophil count less than 1,300 cells/microL at time of operation. The mean absolute neutrophil count of the patients who cleared the aspergillus infection was 5,538 cells/microL. The mean survival of allogenic bone marrow transplant recipients was 5.2 months, and for recipients of autografts was 51.4 months.

Conclusions: In this series, surgical resection of IPA cleared the aspergillus infection in 69% of the patients. Neutropenia, extrapulmonic extension of IPA, and allogenic bone marrow transplantation may predict a worse prognosis. Surgical resection of IPA in immunocompromised patients is an effective form of therapy in a properly selected patient population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis / surgery*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutropenia / immunology
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Patient Selection
  • Pneumonectomy / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Antifungal Agents