Projects per year
Background: Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is associated with frequent exacerbations and poor outcomes in chronic respiratory disease, but remains underdiagnosed. The role of fungal sensitization in bronchiectasis-COPD overlap (BCO) is unknown.
Research Question: What is the occurrence and clinical relevance of Aspergillus sensitization and ABPA in BCO when compared with individuals with COPD or bronchiectasis without overlap?
Study Design: Prospective, observational, cross-sectional study.
Methods: We prospectively recruited 280 patients during periods of clinical stability with bronchiectasis (n = 183), COPD (n = 50), and BCO (n = 47) from six hospitals across three countries (Singapore, Malaysia, and Scotland). We assessed sensitization responses (as specific IgE) to a panel of recombinant Aspergillus fumigatus allergens and the occurrence of ABPA in relationship to clinical outcomes.
Results: Individuals with BCO show an increased frequency and clinical severity of ABPA compared with those with COPD and bronchiectasis without overlap. BCO-associated ABPA is associated with more severe disease, higher exacerbation rates, and lower lung function when compared with ABPA occurring in the absence of overlap. BCO with a severe bronchiectasis severity index (BSI; > 9) is associated significantly with the occurrence of ABPA that is unrelated to underlying COPD severity.
Conclusions: BCO demonstrates a high frequency of ABPA that is associated with a severe BSI (> 9) and poor clinical outcomes. Clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for the potential development of ABPA in patients with BCO with high BSI.
- Bronchiectasis-COPD overlap