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[Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: report of 3 cases].

[allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis]

To improve the clinical knowledge on allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) combined with COPD by report of cases.We retrospectively analyzed the clinical information of 3 cases of ABPA combined with COPD diagnosed in our hospital from Jan. 2009 to Dec. 2012.The 3 patients were all males, and aged from 68 to 82 years. The main complaints of all the patients were exertional dyspnea, cough and sputum production, with episodes of wheezing. All patients denied the history of allergic diseases, e.g., asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, eczema, and family history of asthma. They all had a history of heavy smoking. The pulmonary function tests indicated obstructive impairment, and the ratio of FEV1 to FVC (FEV1/FVC) after bronchodilators were 30%, 33% and 43%, respectively, with no significant bronchodilator reversibility, which were consistent with the diagnostic criteria for COPD, with 1 case in GOLD grade III and 2 cases in GOLD grade IV based on the GOLD spirometric criteria for COPD severity. Lung HRCT showed emphysema with or without bulla formation. All cases showed immediate positive response to Aspergillus antigen by skin prick test (SPT), increased serum total IgE > 1000 kU/L, increased serum level of Aspergillus specific IgE (>0.35 kU/L) and IgG (>40 mg/L). Central bronchiectasis was also evident on HRCT scan in the 3 patients. In addition, the eosinophil percentage in peripheral blood was all >5%. Pulmonary infiltrates, brown phlegm plugs, and growth of Aspergillus fumigatus were also noted in some cases. After the diagnosis of ABPA, the patients were all given oral prednisone therapy, with notable improvement in dyspnea and FEV1.ABPA in COPD is uncommon, but early identification and initiation of systemic corticosteroid therapy can lead to improvement in symptoms and prognosis. For COPD patients with recurrent attacks of wheezing or are unresponsive to combination therapy of inhaled long-acting bronchodilators and corticosteroids, concurrent ABPA should be suspected and investigated accordingly.