Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in adult acute leukemia: Clinical clues to its diagnosis

S. L. Gerson, G. H. Talbot, E. Lusk, S. Hurwitz, B. L. Strom, P. A. Cassileth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with acute leukemia, is difficult to diagnose antemortem because its signs and symptoms are ill-defined. To refine the clinical description of this infection, we reveiwed our experience with 15 pathologically documented cases of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in a population of 60 patients treated for acute leukemia. Findings occurring significantly more often (P ≤.001) among cases than controls included pleuritic chest pain; acute sinus tenderness, and nasal discharge, epistaxis and eschar; rales; development of multilobar infiltrates after the 14th hospital day; and presence of nodular or cavitary infiltrates. In addition, patients with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis had a significantly prolonged duration of granulocytopenia, more febrile days and febrile episodes without a fever diagnosis and more febrile days on antibiotics (P ≤.001 in all). This complex of findings should improve the clinician's ability to diagnose invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in patients with acute leukemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1116
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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