Is Pulmonary Aspergillosis Common in Diabetes Mellitus Patients?


1 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and Clinical Immunology,

2 Mycobacteriology Research Center, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University MC, TEHRAN- IRAN.


Aspergillosis is a rapidly progressive, often fatal infection that occurs in severely immunosuppressed patients, including those who are profoundly neutropenic, recipients of bone marrow or solid organ transplants and patients with leukemia, lymphoma, advanced AIDS or phagocytic disorders such as chronic granulomatous disease. Patients with severe liver disease are at a higher risk for infections. Immunocompetent individuals rarely develop this infection and do so only in the presence of pulmonary and systemic abnormalities such as fibrotic lung disease, suppurative infection or when they are on corticosteroids. We present 2 cases of pulmonary aspergillosis in diabetic patients. They presented with cough and dyspnea. Aspergillus was found in obtained respiratory samples. Pulmonary aspergillosis was confirmed in our first case by transbronchial lung biopsy (TBLB) and Galactomannan assay. In the second case, diagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis was established by thoracic CT guided biopsy plus Galactomannan assay. These patients had none of the suggested risk factors for Aspergillus infection but they had uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. This report highlights that pulmonary aspergillosis can occur in individuals with diabetes mellitus even in the absence of other risk factors such as corticosteroid use, severe granulocytopenia or other associated immunosuppressive factors. It is; therefore, valuable to recognize that in patients with diabetes mellitus pulmonary aspergillosis should be considered as an important differential diagnosis for respiratory problems. (Tanaffos2010; 9(3): 69-74)