Objective and methods: While pulmonary aspergilloma has been well described in immunocompetent hosts, to date and to our knowledge, there has not been a description of pulmonary aspergilloma in the HIV-infected individual. A retrospective review of cases seen by the Bellevue Hospital Chest Service from January 1992 through June 1995 identified 25 patients with aspergilloma. To investigate the impact of HIV status on pulmonary aspergilloma, we compared clinical presentation, progression of disease, treatment, and outcome in the HIV-infected patient vs the HIV-negative patient with aspergilloma.
Results: Of the 25 patients identified, 10 were HIV-infected and 15 were HIV-negative. Predisposing diseases included tuberculosis (18/25, 72%), sarcoidosis (4/25, 16%), and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (3/25, 12%). All 25 patients had evidence of aspergilloma on chest CT. In addition, 17 of 25 patients had evidence of Aspergillus species in fungal culture, pathologic specimens, or immunoprecipitins. Hemoptysis was present in 15 of 25 (60%) (11/15 [73%] of the HIV-negative group vs 4/10 [40%] of the HIV-infected group). Severe hemoptysis (> 150 mL/d) occurred in 5 of 15 (33%) of the HIV-negative group vs 1 of 10 (10%) of the HIV-infected group. Disease progression occurred more frequently among the HIV-infected group (4/8, 50% vs 1/13, 8% in HIV-negative individuals). All patients with disease progression had lymphocyte subset CD4+ <100 cells per microliter. Four of eight (50%) of the HIV-infected group vs 1 of 13 (8%) of the HIV-negative group died.
Summary and conclusions: We conclude the following: (1) although tuberculosis and sarcoidosis are the most prevalent predisposing diseases, P carinii pneumonia in the HIV-infected individual is a risk factor for pulmonary aspergilloma; (2) HIV-infected individuals with CD4+ < 100 cells per microliter are more likely to have disease progression despite treatment; and (3) HIV-negative patients are more likely to have hemoptysis requiring intervention.