How should we approach Aspergillus in lung secretions of patients with COPD?
JOSÉ BARBERÁN, FRANCISCO JAVIER CANDEL, ANA ARRIBI
Aspergillus spp. is frequently isolated in respiratory samples from patients with severe COPD; however, the clinical significance of this mold is unclear and its presence may indicate temporary passage, benign chronic carriage, or onset of invasive disease. The definitive diagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis in COPD patients is often difficult owing to the lack of specific clinical and radiological signs. However, retrospective studies show the risk for developing pulmonary aspergillosis in older patients with severe COPD, and a high number of comorbidities who have received treatment with corticosteroids and/or broad spectrum antibioties. The development of algorithms based on microbiological and radiological data and risk factors for pulmonary aspergillosis can help to differentiate between colonization and infection.
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