Aspergillus nodules; another presentation of Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis

Eavan G. Muldoon, Anna Sharman, Iain Page, Paul Bishop, David W. Denning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: There are a number of different manifestations of pulmonary aspergillosis. This study aims to review the radiology, presentation, and histological features of lung nodules caused by Aspergillus spp. Methods: Patients were identified from a cohort attending our specialist Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis clinic. Patients with cavitating lung lesions, with or without fibrosis and those with aspergillomas or a diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis were excluded. Demographic, laboratory, and clinical data and radiologic findings were recorded. Results: Thirty-three patients with pulmonary nodules and diagnostic features of aspergillosis (histology and/or laboratory findings) were identified. Eighteen (54.5 %) were male, mean age 58 years (range 27-80 years). 19 (57.6 %) were former or current smokers. The median Charleston co-morbidity index was 3 (range 0-7). All complained of a least one of; dyspnoea, cough, haemoptysis, or weight loss. None reported fever. Ten patients (31 %) did not have an elevated Aspergillus IgG, and only 4 patients had elevated Aspergillus precipitins. Twelve patients (36 %) had a single nodule, six patients (18 %) had between 2 and 5 nodules, 2 (6 %) between 6 and 10 nodules and 13 (39 %) had more than 10 nodules. The mean size of the nodules was 21 mm, with a maximum size ranging between 5-50 mm. No nodules had cavitation radiographically. The upper lobes were most commonly involved. Histology was available for 18 patients and showed evidence of granulation tissue, fibrosis, and visualisation of fungal hyphae. Conclusion: Pulmonary nodules are a less common manifestation of aspergillosis in immunocompetent patients. Distinguishing these nodules from other lung pathology may be difficult on CT findings alone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Volume16
Issue number1
Early online date18 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Aspergillus
  • Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis
  • Fungal infection of lung
  • Pulmonary nodule

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