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Invasive Aspergillosis: New Insights into Disease, Diagnostic and Treatment

[ Vol. 19 , Issue. 20 ]


Meinolf Karthaus and Dieter Buchheidt   Pages 3569 - 3594 ( 26 )


Aspergillus infections are a threat to in patients with hematological malignancies. Known risk factors are profound and long lasting neutropenia, uncontrolled graft versus host disease, continuous administration of steroids and environmental factors such as hospital construction. Numerous efforts have been undertaken for prophylaxis of invasive aspergillosis in high-risk populations. Most of them failed to demonstrate survival advantages. Prophylaxis makes sense, since diagnosis and treatment of invasive aspergillosis remain difficult. The introduction of non-culture based tools for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis is an important step forward for early and sensitive diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis. Early treatment is the cornerstone of a successful management of invasive aspergillosis. Substantial improvement came with the introduction of lipid formulations of amphotericin B in the early 1990s. Voriconazole was the first azole that improved the overall survival for patients with invasive aspergillosis. Newer azoles and the echinocandins were introduced for the treatment of invasive aspergillosis in the late 1990s. Voriconazole and liposomal amphotericin B allow a safer and more effective treatment of invasive aspergillosis when compared with amphotericin B-desoxycholate. Combination of antifungal agents has been introduced in clinical trials. Up to now no significant benefit has been obtained with antifungal combination compared to voriconazole alone. Because mortality of invasive aspergillosis remains up to more than 50%, prophylaxis, early diagnosis and early initiation of antifungal therapy are of utmost importance for the reduction of invasive aspergillosis related mortality. Despite all advances in the management of invasive aspergillosis important questions remain unresolved. This article reviews the current state and new insights in the management of invasive aspergillosis and points out clinicians unmet needs.


Invasive aspergillosis, diagnostic treatment.


Klinikum Neuperlach, Oskar- Maria-Graf Ring 51, D81737 M√ľnchen.

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