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Necrotizing Aspergillosis of Large Airways: CT Findings in Eight Patients

Franquet, Tomás; Serrano, Félix; Giménez, Ana; Rodríguez-Arias, José Manuel; Puzo, Carmen

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: May-June 2002 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 342-345

Purpose The aim of this study was to evaluate the CT findings of pathologically proven necrotizing aspergillosis of the large airways (necrotizing Aspergillus bronchitis).

Method Medical records and imaging studies from two tertiary medical centers were reviewed for pathologically proven cases of necrotizing aspergillosis of the large airways. Fiberoptic bronchoscopic examination and CT scans of the chest were available in all cases. Two thoracic radiologists who were blinded to the clinical and pathologic data reviewed the thoracic CT scans retrospectively and reached a final decision. The CT images were evaluated for the presence, distribution, and extent of CT findings.

Results The study included eight patients, seven men and one woman, ranging in age from 28 to 67 years (mean age 46 years). All patients had histopathologically proved necrotizing Aspergillus of the large airways and no other superimposed infections. Six patients had leukemia, one had chronic liver disease, and one had chronic obstructive lung disease. All patients had bronchial wall thickening and focal bronchial narrowing involving a lobar or segmental bronchus. The bronchial narrowing was irregular or nodular in seven patients and smooth in one. Atelectasis distal to a narrowed bronchus was present in five patients.

Conclusion The CT findings of necrotizing bronchial aspergillosis include bronchial wall thickening, which is often nodular, and narrowing of the bronchial lumen, which is often associated with distal atelectasis.

From the Departments of Radiology (T. Franquet and A. Giménez) and Respiratory Medicine (J. M. Rodríguez-Arias and C. Puzo), Hospital de Sant Pau, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, and Department of Radiology, Hospital General “Carlos Haya,” Málaga (F. Serrano), Spain.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. T. Franquet at Department of Radiology, Hospital de Sant Pau, Avda Sant Antoni Ma Claret 167, 08025 Barcelona, Spain.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.