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Clinical Investigations: INFECTION |

Pulmonary Fungal Infection*: Emphasis on Microbiological Spectra, Patient Outcome, and Prognostic Factors

Kuan-Yu Chen, MD; Shiann-Chin Ko, MD; Po-Ren Hsueh, MD; Kwen-Tay Luh, MD, FCCP; Pan-Chyr Yang, MD, PhD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Departments of Internal Medicine (Drs. Chen, Ko, Hsueh, and Yang) and Laboratory Medicine (Dr. Luh), National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Correspondence to: Pan-Chyr Yang, MD, PhD, FCCP, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7 Chung-Shan South Rd, Taipei 100, Taiwan; e-mail: pcyang@ha.mc.ntu.edu.tw



Chest. 2001;120(1):177-184. doi:10.1378/chest.120.1.177
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Study objectives: To investigate the microbiological spectra, patient outcome, and prognostic factors of pulmonary fungal infection.

Design: The medical and microbiological records of patients with pulmonary fungal infection were retrospectively analyzed.

Setting: A university-affiliated tertiary medical center.

Patients and methods: From January 1988 to December 1997, all cases of pulmonary fungal infection were reviewed. The criteria for inclusion were obvious lung lesion shown on chest radiographs and one of the following: (1) the presence of fungi in or isolation of fungi from the biopsy specimen of open thoracotomy, thoracoscopy, transbronchial lung biopsy, or ultrasound-guided percutaneous needle aspiration/biopsy; or (2) isolation of fungi from pleural effusion or blood, with no evidence of extrapulmonary infection.

Results: A total of 140 patients were included. Ninety-four cases of pulmonary fungal infection (67%) were community acquired. The most frequently encountered fungi were Aspergillus species (57%), followed by Cryptococcus species (21%) and Candida species (14%). There were 72 patients with acute invasive fungal infection, with a mortality rate of 67%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that nosocomial infection (p = 0.014) and respiratory failure (p = 0.001) were significantly and independently associated with death of acute invasive fungal infection.

Conclusions: Pulmonary fungal infection of community-acquired origins is becoming a serious problem. It should be taken into consideration for differential diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia. Furthermore, acute invasive fungal infection is associated with a much higher mortality rate for patients with nosocomial infection or complicating respiratory failure. Early diagnosis with prompt antifungal therapy, or even with surgical intervention, might be warranted to save patients’ lives.

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