Journal Article

Probable Invasive Aspergillosis without Prespecified Radiologic Findings: Proposal for Inclusion of a New Category of Aspergillosis and Implications for Studying Novel Therapies

Marcio Nucci, Simone Aranha Nouér, Monica Grazziutti, Naveen Sanath Kumar, Bart Barlogie and Elias Anaissie

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 51, issue 11, pages 1273-1280
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/657065
Probable Invasive Aspergillosis without Prespecified Radiologic Findings: Proposal for Inclusion of a New Category of Aspergillosis and Implications for Studying Novel Therapies

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Background. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the Mycosis Study Group (MSG) definition of invasive aspergillosis used in clinical trials lacks sensitivity. We hypothesize that giving lower weight to the prespecified radiologic findings in patients with a positive serum galactomannan index test result will improve the definition's diagnostic sensitivity.

Methods. The medical records of 121 patients with 125 cases of invasive aspergillosis treated at a referral cancer institute from January 2003 through December 2009 were reviewed. Aspergillosis was diagnosed as EORTC-MSG proven or probable (controls, 83) or probable invasive aspergillosis without prespecified radiologic criteria (cases, 42). The latter differed from the former by the inclusion of patients whose pulmonary infiltrates, although well described in invasive aspergillosis, do not fulfill EORTC-MSG invasive aspergillosis requirements. The host, clinical, and mycologic characteristics and survival of cases and controls served as end points.

Results. A total of 114 (91%) of 125 patients had multiple myeloma. Patients had a median age was 65 years (range, 26–81 years), and 74 were male. All had received antineoplastic therapy, including stem cell transplantation (58 [46%]). Aspergillosis involved lungs (88 patients), sinuses (9 patients), or both (28 patients). Except for higher median baseline platelet count and shorter duration of neutropenia among cases, there were no statistically significant differences between groups on all predefined end points, including 4-, 6-, and 12-week survival. Eleven of 26 cases were reclassified as controls on the basis of subsequent imaging.

Conclusions. Except for less well-circumscribed consolidations, the host, clinical, radiologic, and mycologic characteristics and outcome of patients with probable invasive aspergillosis but without prespecified radiologic criteria are similar to those with EORTC-MSG invasive aspergillosis. Enrolling such patients in clinical trials of novel therapies will increase the pool of eligible study participants and improve trial speed and efficiency.

Journal Article.  4234 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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