|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 195-197
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis mimicking miliary tuberculosis
Gurmeet Singh1, Nova B Fauzi1, Alvina Widhani2
1 Department of Internal Medicine, Respirology and Critical Illness Division, Universitas Indonesia, Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusumo, Depok, Indonesia
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Allergy and Immunology Division, Universitas Indonesia, Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusumo, Depok, Indonesia
|Date of Submission||26-Feb-2018|
|Date of Acceptance||03-May-2018|
|Date of Web Publication||14-Jun-2018|
Jl. Diponegoro No. 71, Central Jakarta 10430
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a major global health problem, especially in developing countries such as Indonesia. TB makes the individual more susceptible to other diseases caused by other microorganisms. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is usually a progressive disease, occurs in patients with hypersensitivity toward Aspergillus fumigatus, and is found almost exclusively in asthma and cystic fibrosis patients. The clinical manifestations and radiologic findings of ABPA often mimic other pulmonary diseases. This case report illustrates a 35-year-old women who was initially diagnosed with miliary TB, but was later diagnosed with ABPA after further examinations (immunoglobulin E and thoracic computed tomography scan). After treatment with anti-TB drugs, itraconazole, and methylprednisolone for 2 weeks, the patient felt resolution of symptoms. Significant changes were in the chest radiography and the immunoglobulin E level reduced considerably.
Keywords: allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, antifungal, tuberculosis
|How to cite this article:|
Singh G, Fauzi NB, Widhani A. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis mimicking miliary tuberculosis. Egypt J Chest Dis Tuberc 2018;67:195-7
|How to cite this URL:|
Singh G, Fauzi NB, Widhani A. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis mimicking miliary tuberculosis. Egypt J Chest Dis Tuberc [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Feb 1];67:195-7. Available from: http://www.ejcdt.eg.net/text.asp?2018/67/2/195/234175
| Introduction|| |
In 2016, global tuberculosis (TB) incidence was 10.4 million, with most cases occurring in South-East Asia (45%) . In Indonesia, there were as much as 298 128 cases, with the highest prevalence in West Java . Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a progressive disease and occurs in patients with hypersensitivity toward Aspergillus fumigatus in the airways and is usually found exclusively in asthma or cystic fibrosis patients ,. Studies have been conducted to estimate the epidemiology of ABPA . In Indonesia, ABPA is often misdiagnosed and specific examinations are not widely available. This case report aims to shed light on the diagnosis and treatment of ABPA.
A 35-year-old women presented to a primary healthcare center with complaint of breathing difficulty causing restricted physical activities. She feels dyspneic after walking for less than 100 m. At the said health center, she was diagnosed with dyspepsia and lung infection and was given both chemical and herbal drugs. The patient has a history of bronchitis and hepatitis, and also frequent episodes of atopy symptoms (sneezing and watery eyes in the morning). She denied any history of asthma, cystic fibrosis, and negative for TB contact.
After a month of treatment, symptoms did not resolve and patient experienced other symptoms such as fever, shivering, and productive cough with greenish sputum for a week. The patient was hospitalized at a nearby hospital. Physical examinations found bilateral crackles and wheezing in both lungs; laboratory tests showed a high level of eryhtrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (60 mm/h), and chest radiography was suggestive of miliary TB as shown in [Figure 1].
|Figure 1 Chest X-ray taken on initial assessment showing infiltrates on the upper and middle right lung field and miliary infiltrates with laterobasal consolidation on the left lung, suggestive of left pleural effusion.|
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Patient was put on anti-TB drugs (first category) for 2 weeks without any significant resolution of symptoms. The patient sought second opinion to our national referral hospital and was evaluated for ABPA [lung computed tomography (CT) scan and immunoglobulin E (IgE) examination]. IgE levels were significantly elevated (3139 ng/ml) and CT scan revealed infiltrates on almost all the areas of the right and left lungs, bronchiectasis on segments 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, and multiple bullae on the third lateral segment with pleural effusion in the left lung ([Figure 2]).
|Figure 2 Thoracic CT-scan taken 2 weeks after anti-TB treatment showing extended infiltrates on both lungs with bronchiectasis on segments 1, 2, 3, 9, and 10 and multiple bullae on right lateral segment 3 and left pleural effusion suggestive of a specific process (TB).|
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The patient underwent bronchoscopy and further workup for ABPA (blood galactomannan). All examinations were positive for aspergillosis. The patient was diagnosed with ABPA and was given 200 mg of itraconazole (taken twice daily), 8 mg of methylprednisolone taken once in 2 days, and anti-TB regimens were continued.
On further evaluation after 2 weeks, patient’s symptoms, lab tests, and lung CT scan showed resolution (the IgE level was decreased to 1932 ng/ml), but still has occasional productive cough.
The patient was advised to stop ATT after 6 months, and to continue itraconazole and steroids treatment for a total 6 months. The patient continues routine follow-up in our outpatient clinic.
| Discussion|| |
The patient was a 35-year old women with miliary TB. However, after further examinations, she was diagnosed with ABPA. Often, confusions of diagnosis like this happen due to the similarities of clinical manifestations and radiologic findings. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is almost exclusively found in patients with asthma or cystic fibrosis. This patient had no history of asthma or cystic fibrosis, only frequent episodes of atopy such as sneezing and watery eyes in the morning.
Generally, ABPA clinical manifestations include worsening of asthma or cystic fibrosis, with occasional expectorations of golden-brown sputum plugs . Since the patient had no asthma or cystic fibrosis, it was difficult to exactly distinguish ABPA at initial presentation. Symptoms that the patient experienced were fever, dyspnea, and productive cough with greenish sputum, with physical examinations showing crackles and wheezing, which are commonly found in every lung infection. The patient was diagnosed with miliary TB and was put on anti-TB drugs. After 2 weeks of treatment, symptoms of TB should have resolved, but the patient felt no resolution to her symptoms. The patient underwent examinations for ABPA, namely total IgE serum and thoracic CT scan. The patient’s IgE level was 3139 IU/ml and usually the cutoff for IgE to be considered suggestive of ABPA is above 1000 IU/ml. Patient’s thoracic CT scan showed bronchiectasis on segments 1, 2, 3, 9, and 10. Thoracic CT scan findings suggestive for ABPA are central bronchiectasis in multiple lobes ,.
Initial treatment given to the patient included anti-TB drugs, 200 mg of itraconazole given twice daily, and 8 mg of methylprednisolone taken once in 2 days . Anti-TB treatment was continued due to initial diagnosis of miliary TB, Indonesia is endemic for TB, and aspergillosis is a comorbid for TB. Studies have found drug interactions between rifampicin and itraconazole, where it is suggested that rifampicin reduces the serum concentration of itraconazole, therefore reducing its antifungal effects ,. Upon follow-up at 2 weeks of treatment, the patient felt resolution of almost all of her symptoms. The patient’s IgE levels also reduced from 3139 to 1932 IU/ml. From chest radiography, the resolution can be seen as in the figures.
| Conclusion|| |
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis should be considered as a differential diagnosis difficult to treat in TB patients.
The authors thank the patient for her cooperation during the study.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2]