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Changes in the natural history of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in neutropenic leukemic patients


Changes in the natural history of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in neutropenic leukemic patients



Israel Journal of Medical Sciences 32(11): 1089-1092



ISSN/ISBN: 0021-2180

PMID: 8960078

We describe five patients with acute leukemia who during the period of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia developed invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Amphotericin B was initiated early in the febrile neutropenic episode at a dose of 1-1.5 mg/kg per day. Four of the five patients had normal chest films at the time amphotericin B was started and only later developed infiltrates, which subsequently progressed to cavitation formation with resolution of the infiltrates around the cavitations. This is compatible with primary aspergilloma or invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The patients experienced partial (2 patients) or complete resolution (3 patients) of the process, and none died of the fungal infection. In the past, infection with invasive aspergillosis carried a high mortality. We believe that this positive outcome constitutes a change in the natural history of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in neutropenic patients as a result of the early initiation of high dose amphotericin B. We recommend the early empiric use of amphotericin B therapy in febrile neutropenic patients not responding to broad-spectrum antibiotics, and that the minimal initial dose be 1 mg /kg per day especially in institutions carrying a high incidence of aspergillosis.

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Accession: 002773958

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