Clinical significance of the recovery of Aspergillus species from the respiratory secretions of cystic fibrosis patients

Carlos E. Milla, Catherine L. Wielinski, Warren E Regelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The frequent recovery of Aspergillus species from the respiratory tract secretions of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients is well recognized, and the presence of the fungus in the airways may trigger an inflammatory response that can manifest as the clinical entity known as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). In our CF patient population we studied the clinical characteristics of those who had Aspergillus sp. recovered from their respiratory tract secretions (n = 45) and compared them with the characteristics seen, during the same time period, in those patients who were culture negative for Aspergillus sp. (n = 167). There were no differences in peripheral blood eosinophil count (P = 0.9) or serum immunoglobulin E levels (P = 0.61). By logistic regression analysis there seemed to be an increased risk for more advanced lung disease, both radiographically (defined by a Brasfield chest radiograph score < 18) and by lung function parameters in those who were culture positive. However, after appropriate adjustment, almost all the increased risk was associated with age and gender, but not with the presence of Aspergillus sp. in respiratory secretions. Additionally, increasing age was strongly correlated with the risk of Aspergillus sp. being cultured from respiratory secretions (P = 0.0025). The presence of Aspergillus sp. in respiratory secretions was not associated with two indicators of atopy in our CF patient population. We do not have evidence that the culture of Aspergillus sp. from CF respiratory secretions is independently associated with an increased risk for more advanced lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-10
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1996

Keywords

  • Aspergillus
  • cystic fibrosis
  • sputum allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis

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