AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Blood and radiologic tests are frequently used for diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, but it remains unknown which is more useful for its early diagnosis. Aim of the study was to compare usefulness of computed tomographic (CT) scan of chest, latex agglutination (LA) test and determination of plasma (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan (BDG) levels for early diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). DESIGN AND METHODS: We treated 215 consecutive patients who underwent cytotoxic chemotherapy. From initiation of chemotherapy until death or discharge, blood samples were taken weekly and subjected to LA and BDG tests. We performed chest CT scans when patients had any signs of pulmonary infection or an antibiotic-resistant fever. RESULTS: Of the 215 patients, 30 (14. 0%) were diagnosed as having IPA. In sixteen cases the diagnosis was definite and in 14 it was suspected. In patient-based analysis, sensitivities of LA and BDG were 44% and 63%, respectively. Sensitivity tended to be lower in patients with IPA localized to the lung than those with disseminated invasive aspergillosis. Specificities were 93% and 74%, respectively. Either a halo or an air-crescent was observed in 7 of the 16 patients with IPA, and all of the IPA patients showed some abnormal signs on chest CT scans. On average, CT scan signs preceded a positive LA test by 7.1 days and a positive BDG assay by 11.5 days. In 6 of the 11 patients who became positive for either LA or BDG assay, CT scan signs preceded the positive results by more than seven days. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: Chest CT scan is more beneficial than the blood tests and X-ray for early diagnosis of IPA.
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Vol. 85 No. 7 (2000): July, 2000 : Comparative Studies
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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