Chronic Aspergillosis of the Lungs: Unravelling the Terminology and Radiology


The propensity for Aspergillus spp. to cause lung disease has long been recognised but the satisfactory classification of these disorders is challenging. The problems caused by invasive disease in severely neutropenic patients, saprophytic infection of pre-existing fibrotic cavities and allergic reactions to Aspergillus are well documented. In contrast, a more chronic form of Aspergillus-related lung disease that has the potential to cause significant morbidity and mortality is under-reported. The symptoms of this form of Aspergillus infection may be non-specific and the radiologist may be the first to suspect a diagnosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. The current review considers the classification conundrums in diseases caused by Aspergillus spp. and discusses the typical clinical and radiological profile of patients with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis.

Key Points

• The classification of Aspergillus -related lung disease is mired in confusion.

• The chronic form of Aspergillus infection is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.

• Progressive consolidation and cavitation with intracavitary material is the radiological hallmark.

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Professor David M. Hansell is the recipient of a National Institute of Health Senior Investigator Award. The scientific guarantor of this publication is Dr. Sujal R. Desai. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. The authors state that this work has not received any funding. No statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional review board approval was not required because the submitted manuscript is a review article. Methodology: not applicable. The submitted manuscript is a review article.

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Desai, S.R., Hedayati, V., Patel, K. et al. Chronic Aspergillosis of the Lungs: Unravelling the Terminology and Radiology . Eur Radiol 25, 3100–3107 (2015).

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  • Aspergillosis
  • Chronic necrotising pulmonary aspergillosis
  • Imaging, diagnostic
  • Tomography, x-ray computed
  • Nomenclature