Aspergillus infections in patients with cancer are difficult to diagnose, and such diagnoses are frequently made at necropsy. Earlier therapy has been proposed to provide better response. We reviewed 17 consecutive patients with documented aspergillosis to determine the impact of earlier diagnosis and prompt treatment with amphotericin B. Sixteen had hematologic malignancies, and all had marked granulocytopenia. Six were diagnosed and treated within 96 h of the appearance of infiltrates. Three of these 6 had complete resolution of all signs and symptoms of aspergillus infection. The other 3 had a partial response to therapy despite continued granulocytopenia. All 11 patients in whom antifungal therapy was either delayed (6) or not given (5) for at lest 2 weeks after the infiltrate was present died with progressive aspergillosis. Aggressive diagnostic methods to establish the diagnosis of aspergillosis are warranted so that antifungal therapy can be started early, which may then be successful in resolving these potentially fatal infections.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine