Long-term antifungal treatment improves health status in patients with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis: a longitudinal analysis.
Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Sep;57(6):828-35
Authors: Al-Shair K, Atherton GT, Harris C, Ratcliffe L, Newton PJ, Denning DW
BACKGROUND: Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) is an infectious disease that progressively destroys lung tissue. To date, no longitudinal data on the efficacy of antifungal treatment on health status in CPA patients exist.
METHODS: Using the standardized St George's Respiratory Questionnaire, the health status of 122 patients with was assessed at baseline and quarterly over 12 months. The score range was 0-100, where higher score indicates worse heath status, and a change of ≥4 was deemed the minimal clinically important difference. Lung function, body mass index, Medical Research Council dyspnea scale, disease severity, and demographic data were reported.
RESULTS: Mean age of patients was 59 years, and 45% were female. Overall, patients with CPA had substantial health status impairment at baseline. After treatment, 47%-50% gained substantial health improvement with a mean reduction of score of 14 at both 6 and 12 months, whereas 32% deteriorated with a mean rise of score of 11 and 14 after 6 and 12 months of treatment and observation, respectively, and 21% were not much different (stable). Patients gained therapeutic benefit irrespective of their illness severity where >50% of those who had "poor" and "very poor" status at baseline improved with score reduction of ≥4 after 6 months of treatment. Replicating this analysis using a health status category, we found that at least 50% of patients with a "poor/very poor" health status category at baseline improved significantly to "fair" or "good/very good" categories. Side effects burdened health status considerably. In multivariate analysis, dyspnea and disease severity significantly defined health status impairment.
CONCLUSIONS: Antifungal therapy improved health status and prevented CPA progression in most patients.
PMID: 23788240 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]