Department of Medical Mycology and Parasitology, School of Public Health and National Institute of Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Invasive Fungi Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
Department of Anesthesiologist and Critical Care Division, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
Background and Purpose: Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is one of the most common life-threatening fungal infections among the critically ill patients including intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Delayed diagnosis and therapy may lead to poor outcomes. Diagnosis may be facilitated by a test for molecular biomarkers, i.e. detection of galactomannan (GM) antigen based on enzyme immunoassay, which is of increasing interest in the clinical settings for the diagnosis of IA. In the present study, we assessed GM testing of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid as a tool for early diagnosis of IA among ICU patients who were at risk for developing IA. Material and Methods: A prospective study was performed in ICU patients with underlying predisposing conditions for IA between August 2010 and September 2011. BAL samples for direct microscopic examination, culture, and GM detection were obtained once or twice weekly. GM in BAL levels was measured using the Platellia Aspergillus EIA test kit. According to modified European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer/ Mycoses Study Group (EORTC/MSG) criteria, patients were classified as having probable or possible IA. Results: Out of 43 suspected patients to IA, 13 (30.2%) cases showed IA. According to the criteria presented by EORTC/MSG, they were categorized as: 4 cases (30.8%) of possible IA and 9 (69.2%) of probable IA. Out of 21 BAL samples from patients with IA, 11 (52.4%) had at least one positive BAL GM index. Using a cutoff index of 0.5, the sensitivity and specificity, positive and negative predictive values of GM detection in BAL fluid were 100%, 85.7%, 65.7% and 96%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity was 73% and 92.7% at cutoff ≥1.0, respectively. In 6 of 13 IA cases, BAL culture or direct microscopic examination remained negative, whereas GM in BAL was positive. Conclusion: Our data have revealed that the sensitivity of GM detection in BAL was better than that of conventional tests. It seems that GM detection in BAL is beneficial to establish or exclude the early diagnosis of IA in ICU patients.