Invasive aspergillosis. Clinical features of 35 proven cases at a single institution

Medicine (Baltimore). 1998 May;77(3):188-94. doi: 10.1097/00005792-199805000-00004.


Thirty-five patients with clinical features and histologically or microbiologically proven infection met predetermined stringent criteria for invasive aspergillosis over a 5-year period at our institution. Underlying conditions included hematologic malignancy, solid tumor, bone marrow and solid organ transplantation, and immunosuppressive therapy. The majority of patients (94%) presented with respiratory symptoms and abnormal pulmonary chest radiography; only 40% had neutropenia at time of infection. Invasive aspergillosis was suspected in only 21 cases (60%). Concomitant infections were present in 83% of patients. Half of patients had pathogenic or potentially pathogenic microorganisms other than Aspergillus spp. isolated from pulmonary specimens at time of aspergillosis. Aspergillus spp. were recovered from sputum in 75% of patients and from bronchoalveolar lavage in only 52%. Invasive aspergillosis is an unexpectedly unrecognized disease with poor outcome; overall mortality was 94% in our series. The lack of sensitivity of diagnostic procedures, together with the high frequency of concomitant infections, delays the time of diagnosis. Early diagnostic tests are needed, and presumptive antifungal therapy among high-risk patients is mandatory.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis / diagnosis*
  • Aspergillosis / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis / microbiology
  • Aspergillus / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Lactams
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Steroids
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Lactams
  • Steroids