May 142011

Invasive aspergillosis is often lethal in lung transplant patients, and early diagnosis and treatment improve survival. Luong M et al showed that testing bronchoalveolar lavage fluid with new rapid-result Aspergillus PCR and galactomannan tests bring both sensitivity and specificity into the 93-100% range. 150 BAL samples from lung transplant patients at Pitt were tested (there were only 5 proven cases of invasive aspergillosis; 11 probable; and 26 with colonization). The two tests are complementary in their yields; authors propose cut-off values to try to differentiate invasive disease from colonization. Clin Infect Dis 2011;52:1218-1226.

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Rapid tests for aspergillus in BAL