We describe two patients with acute leukaemia who died of massive haemoptysis caused by invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). The fatal event occurred during the period of bone marrow remission which followed chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. This is a rare complication. We were able to find additional 17 similar cases in the English literature, which we review. Clinically, the picture consisted of unremitting fever with profound and prolonged neutropenia, cough and dyspnoea. Both our patients were treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, fluconazole and amphotericin B. An upper lobe infiltrate in one case, and a progressive pleural effusion in the other, were late findings on chest radiographs during the period of bone marrow recovery. Both patients succumbed to sudden massive haemoptysis during the period of bone marrow and clinical improvement. In conclusion, patients with acute non-lymphoid leukaemia are at significant risk for IPA-induced fatal haemoptysis during bone marrow and clinical remission. A high index of suspicion should be sustained throughout the entire clinical course. In view of the potential fatal outcome, aggressive diagnostic and treatment efforts are mandatory.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in neutropenic patients. Microbiological and serological tests are of limited value. The diagnosis should be considered in neutropenic patients with fever not responding to antibiotics, and typical findings on thoracic computed tomography scan. Whenever possible, diagnosis should be confirmed by tissue examination. Newer techniques, such as polymerase chain reaction may change the current diagnostic approach. Therapeutic strategies consist of prophylaxis in risk groups and the early application of antifungal agents in suspected or probable disease. Amphotericin B as desoxycholate or lipid formulation is the current standard medication in invasive infection, although it has major side effects. Its role is challenged by the new azole derivates, such as itraconazole and voriconazole, and the new echinocandins. Additional therapies with cytokines, such as granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor and interferon-gamma, and with granulocyte transfusions are under evaluation. In selected cases lung resection is of proven diagnostic and therapeutic value. This paper analyses the current understanding of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of invasive aspergillosis and reviews the actual diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in neutropenic patients.
European Respiratory Journal 05/2002; 19(4):743-55. DOI:10.1183/09031936.02.00256102 · 7.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is the most common fungal pulmonary infection in severely immunocompromised patients. Aspergillus species are commonly isolated from the soil, plant debris, and the indoor environment, including the hospital. Phagocytosis is the main host defense against Aspergillus conidia and hyphae. The diagnosis of IPA is based on clinical, radiological, and mycological data. Clinical signs have a low specificity. The most typical computed tomographic (CT) findings are nodules with or without the halo sign or the air crescent sign. Sensitivity of microscopy and culture of noninvasive collected samples is low. Galactomannan and nucleic acid detection in serum or in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid help to confirm the diagnosis. Crude mortality is high and strongly correlated with the underlying condition, stage of the underlying disease, and extension of the aspergillosis. Optimal therapeutic strategies include the prevention of contamination in patients at high risk, early initiation of antifungal therapy, surgery in some instances, and, importantly, treatment of the underlying condition to restore whenever possible a certain degree of immunocompetence. Voriconazole has demonstrated better efficacy and safety than amphotericin B deoxycholate. The improved survival observed with voriconazole makes it a new reference for the first-line therapy of IA. Lipid formulations of amphotericin B, caspofungin, micafungin, and posaconazole are other therapeutic options in the event of failure of or contraindication to voriconazole. The main indication for surgery is prevention of severe hemoptysis when the lesion is adjacent to a large vessel.
Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 05/2004; 25(2):191-202. DOI:10.1055/s-2004-824903 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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