Lung resection for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in neutropenic patients with hematologic diseases

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Sep;158(3):885-90. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.158.3.9801056.


Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is associated with a high mortality. In 27 consecutive neutropenic patients who underwent lung resection for suspected IPA, we analyzed preoperative diagnostic evaluation, operative procedure, perioperative management, histological findings, outcome concerning recurrence of aspergillosis, and survival to evaluate the morbidity and mortality of a surgical treatment of IPA. Seventeen patients with hematologic diseases had previously undergone high-dose chemotherapy and four stem cell transplantation. Six patients with aplastic anemia were treated with antilymphocyte globulin. IPA was suspected if localized infiltrates developed on thoracic CT scan, and fever persisted under antibiotic therapy in neutropenic patients. In only one case a diagnosis of IPA could be made preoperatively. Twenty patients underwent lobectomy and seven wedge resection. At day of surgery the neutrophil count was below 500 x 10(9)/L in 78% of patients, and the platelet count below in 50 x 10(9)/L in 58% of patients. Invasive fungal infection was confirmed histologically in 22 of 27 patients (81.5%); in five patients no fungal infection was documented. The median duration of surgery was 120 min. Postoperatively, patients stayed one night in the intensive care unit, and chest tubes were removed after 2 d. Within 7 d a median of four erythrocyte packs and two platelet packs per patient were replaced. Major surgical complications occurred in two patients (bronchial dehiscence; pleural aspergillosis). Minor surgical complications included prolonged chest tube drainage (recurrent pneumothorax, n = 2; air leakage, n = 1; hematothorax, n = 1), pleural effusion (n = 4), and seroma (n = 2). Postoperatively, two patients suffered from histologically proven disseminated aspergillosis (pleural aspergillosis, renal aspergilloma) and another patient from suspected orbital aspergillosis. At 30 d postoperative mortality was 11% and 3-mo survival was 77%. After lung resection, seven patients underwent stem cell transplantation without recurrence of IPA. In conclusion, we suggest lung resection is a therapeutic option for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in neutropenic patients with hematologic diseases and is associated with a low surgery-related morbidity and mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia, Aplastic / complications
  • Anemia, Aplastic / therapy
  • Antilymphocyte Serum / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis / complications
  • Aspergillosis / diagnosis
  • Aspergillosis / pathology
  • Aspergillosis / surgery*
  • Chest Tubes
  • Child
  • Critical Care
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion
  • Female
  • Fever / physiopathology
  • Hematologic Diseases / complications*
  • Hematologic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Hematologic Diseases / therapy
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / complications
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / pathology
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutropenia / complications*
  • Platelet Transfusion
  • Pneumonectomy* / adverse effects
  • Pneumonectomy* / methods
  • Recurrence
  • Survival Rate
  • Thrombocytopenia / complications
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antilymphocyte Serum
  • Immunosuppressive Agents