Pulmonary Invasive Aspergillosis and Candidiasis in Immunocompromised Patients: A Comparative Study of the High-Resolution CT Findings

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The purpose of this study was to compare the high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings of pulmonary invasive aspergillosis and candidiasis in immunocompromised patients. The study included 54 immunocompromised patients (32 men, 22 women; 10 to 68 years of age, median 40 years) with a diagnosis of Aspergillus (n=32) or Candida (n=22) pulmonary infection obtained by sputum culture, bronchoalveolar lavage culture, transbronchial biopsy, surgical biopsy, or autopsy. High-resolution CT images were assessed for the presence and distribution of nodules, consolidation and ground-glass opacities. Presence of the CT halo sign and cavitation was also recorded and the overall distribution of abnormalities was assessed. Comparison was made using the Fisher exact test. Nodules were the most common finding, present in 84% (27 of 32) of patients with aspergillosis and 95% (21 of 22) of patients with candidiasis (P>0.3, Fisher exact test). Centrilobular nodules were more common in patients with aspergillosis (26 of 27, 96%) than in those with candidiasis (11 of 21, 52%) (P<0.001) and random nodules more common in candidiasis (10 of 21, 48%) than in aspergillosis (1 of 27, 4%) (P<0.001). Presence of the CT halo sign, cavitation, and ground-glass opacities was similar in both groups. In summary, pulmonary aspergillosis and candidiasis in immunocompromised patients manifest with similar high-resolution CT findings. Centrilobular nodules and consolidation are more common in aspergillosis. The presence of halo sign or cavitation is not helpful in the differential diagnosis.

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