Imaging features of fungal infection in immuno-suppressed patients in a local ward outbreak

  • S. A
  • W.A. W
  • M.L. W
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Purpose of study: To examine the role of imaging in diagnosing and assessing fungal infections in paediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy in a facility, which had high fungal air contamination due to adjacent building construction work. Materials and method: Nineteen patients aged five months to 12 years with various malignancies, mainly leukaemia, along with probable fungal infection were referred for imaging over a period of 12 months. The imaging findings from their CT and chest radiographs were reviewed by two radiologists and correlated with the clinical findings. Blood culture and/or biopsy of relevant lesions were performed for all patients. Results: Fungus was positively isolated in 11 out of 19 patients, but the remaining patients clinically had fungal infection. The most common species isolated was Candida sp. (five patients), followed by Aspergillus sp. The most common site of fungal infection was the lungs (10 out of 19 patients), where consolidation or cavitating nodules were seen on CT or the plain chest radiograph. One patient developed pulmonary artery aneurysm as a complication. The other sites affected were the intra-abdominal organs (liver, kidneys, and spleen) and the paranasal sinuses, shown on CT. Two patients with clinical evidence of infection and Candida sp. isolated from their blood, however, showed no abnormal findings on imaging. Conclusion: Early diagnosis of fungal infections in oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy is important, but diagnosis may be difficult through imaging because of the non-specific changes and the presence of abnormalities from the underlying disease. Even if a specific diagnosis cannot be reached, imaging is useful to monitor response to treatment and detect complications. © 2006 Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal. All rights reserved.




S., A. S., W.A., W. A., & M.L., W. (2006). Imaging features of fungal infection in immuno-suppressed patients in a local ward outbreak. Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal, 2(2).

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