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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


ALMEIDA, Marina B.; BUSSAMRA, Maria Helena C. F.  and  RODRIGUES, Joaquim C.. ABPA diagnosis in cystic fibrosis patients: the clinical utility of IgE specific to recombinant Aspergillus fumigatus allergens. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2006, vol.82, n.3, pp.215-220. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a complicating factor of cystic fibrosis which can result in a devastating combination as lung disease progresses. The overlap between the signs and symptoms of the two conditions makes diagnosis problematic, even if standardized criteria are used. The objective of this study was to identify, in a group of cystic fibrosis patients, cases of ABPA by assaying IgE specific to recombinant Aspergillus fumigatus antigens and to compare the method with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation diagnostic criteria. METHODS: Fifty-four patients, aged 2 to 20 years, presenting characteristics that could occur with ABPA in isolation, were systematically assessed based on the following: clinical data, a chest CT scan, immediate hypersensitivity skin test for A. fumigatus; total serum IgE assay, RAST for A. fumigatus and serum IgE specific for the recombinant allergens Asp f1, f2, f3, f4 and f6. RESULTS: Thirty-nine patients were eligible for the study. Thirty-two of these were investigated. Sensitization to A. fumigatus was observed in 34%. Both the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation criteria and the recombinant antigen specific IgE assay defined three patients as suffering from ABPA; however, only two of these patients were diagnosed by both methods. CONCLUSIONS: The detection of A. fumigatus recombinant antigen specific IgE was a useful tool for the early detection of sensitization and diagnosis of ABPA. Nevertheless, diagnostic confirmation cannot be divorced from clinical findings, and before this method can be used for ABPA diagnosis, for detecting relapses and for defining cure criteria, longitudinal studies with larger numbers of patients are required.

Keywords : Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergilosis; Aspergillus fumigatus; cystic fibrosis; antigens.

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