Learn About Pulmonary Aspergilloma

What is the definition of Pulmonary Aspergilloma?

Pulmonary aspergilloma is a mass caused by a fungal infection. It usually grows in lung cavities. The infection can also appear in the brain, kidney, or other organs.

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What are the alternative names for Pulmonary Aspergilloma?

Fungus ball; Mycetoma; Aspergilloma; Aspergillosis - pulmonary aspergilloma

What are the causes of Pulmonary Aspergilloma?

Aspergillosis is an infection caused by the fungus aspergillus. Aspergillomas are formed when the fungus grows in a clump in a lung cavity. The cavity is often created by a previous condition. Cavities in the lung may be caused by diseases such as:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Lung abscess
  • Lung cancer
  • Sarcoidosis

The most common species of fungus that causes disease in humans is Aspergillus fumigatus.

Aspergillus is a common fungus. It grows on dead leaves, stored grain, bird droppings, compost piles, and other decaying vegetation.

What are the symptoms of Pulmonary Aspergilloma?

You may not have symptoms. When symptoms do develop, they can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Coughing up blood, which can be a life-threatening sign
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Unintentional weight loss
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What are the current treatments for Pulmonary Aspergilloma?

Many people never develop symptoms. Often, no treatment is needed, unless you are coughing up blood.

Sometimes, antifungal medicines may be used.

If you have bleeding in the lungs, your provider may recommend a test to inject dye into the blood vessels (angiography) to find the site of bleeding. The bleeding is stopped by either:

  • Surgery to remove the aspergilloma
  • Procedure that inserts material into the blood vessels to stop the bleeding (embolization)
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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Pulmonary Aspergilloma?

The outcome can be good in many people. However, it depends on the severity of the condition and your overall health.

Surgery may be very successful in some cases, but it is complex and can have a high risk of serious complications.

What are the possible complications of Pulmonary Aspergilloma?

Complications of pulmonary aspergilloma may include:

  • Difficulty breathing that gets worse
  • Massive bleeding from the lung
  • Spread of the infection
When should I contact a medical professional for Pulmonary Aspergilloma?

See your provider if you cough up blood, and be sure to mention any other symptoms that have developed.

How do I prevent Pulmonary Aspergilloma?

People who have had related lung infections or who have weakened immune systems should try to avoid environments where the aspergillus fungus is found.

Pulmonary nodule - front view chest x-ray
Pulmonary nodule, solitary - CT scan
Pulmonary aspergillosis
Aspergillosis - chest X-ray
Respiratory system
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What are the Latest Advances for Pulmonary Aspergilloma?
Surgical resection of lupus nephritis with pulmonary Aspergillus infection: a case report and review of the literature.
Surgical Outcome of Chronic Pulmonary Aspergilloma: An Experience from Two Tertiary Referral Hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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Surgical treatment of pulmonary aspergilloma in pediatric patients: report of 3 cases.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: September 10, 2022
Published By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Patterson TF, Thompson GR 3rd, Denning DW, et al. Practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of aspergillosis: 2016 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis. 2016;63(4):e1-e60. PMID: 27365388 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27365388/.

Saullo JL, Alexander BD. Fungal infections: opportunistic. In: Broaddus VC, Ernst JD, King TE, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 57.

Walsh TJ. Aspergillosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 319.