Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is a disease characterized by a hypersensitivity reaction to aspergillus fumigatus after its repeated inhalation and is most frequently encountered in patients suffering from asthma or cystic fibrosis (CF). The diagnosis is based on clinical, radiographic and microbiological criteria, but symptoms may not be apparent until advanced stages of the disease occur.
This disorder is related to infectious processes.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is one of the main forms of pulmonary disease caused by aspergillus fumigatus, perhaps the most important fungal pathogen in clinical practice, together with candida albicans   . It is primarily diagnosed in children and younger adults , and signs and symptoms stem from a hypersensitivity reaction induced by repeated inhalation of A. fumigatus conidia, after which both innate and adaptive immune mechanisms initiate an inflammatory reaction   . ABPA is diagnosed in up to 6% of patients suffering from chronic asthma and in almost 15% of individuals harboring a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, suggesting that these two conditions are most important risk factors  . In the majority of cases, clinical deterioration of preexisting pulmonary disease is the principal manifestation, with symptoms such as more pronounced cough, wheezing, increased sputum production, hemoptysis, dyspnea, chest pain and the appearance of exercise-induced asthma  . Recurrent fever can also be reported . In more severe cases, cyanosis, digital clubbing, and cor pulmonale can be present. However, patients often show minimal signs of the disease for a prolonged period of time, especially if neither asthma nor CF is present . Moreover, without an adequate diagnosis and early initiation of therapy, the clinical course of ABPA is distinguished by repeated remission and exacerbation of symptoms, eventually leading to pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiectasis and chronic production of sputum  . The importance of early recognition lies in the fact that pulmonary fibrosis has a poor long-term outcome and may progress to respiratory failure  .
The diagnosis of ABPA is not easy to attain in patients who develop nonspecific lung-related signs and symptoms, especially when pulmonary conditions, such as asthma and CF, are concomitantly present. A detailed patient history and a thorough physical examination (with an emphasis on pulmonary auscultation), however, are detrimental parts of the diagnostic workup, as they can identify recent exacerbation or the appearance of new lung-related symptoms. Moreover, many individuals already have some other allergic disorders (for eg. rhinitis, conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis, etc.), which may be another clue toward ABPA as a differential diagnosis . Because clinical findings are not specific for the diagnosis of ABPA, its recognition relies on the fulfillment of the following criteria     :