Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a serious problem in patients suffering from hematological malignancies. Surgical resection has been reported to improve disease control and patient survival. There are few reports describing the role of surgery in children with pulmonary IA.
From October 1998 to September 2005, 21 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Demographic and clinical data, as well as type and duration of antifungal therapy; surgery and related complications; time elapsing from surgery to resumption of chemotherapy were collected retrospectively through a specially designed form filled in by each investigator.
Eleven males and 10 females, aged between 2 and 17 years underwent one or more surgical lung resections for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Surgical complications were reported in three patients. Two patients, who underwent a wedge resection and a lobectomy, respectively, had no fungal lesions detected at surgery. Seventeen of 20 patients with malignancy resumed chemotherapy after a median of 19 days from surgery, range 7–81, and 11 of them underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation after a median time of 60 days from surgery, range 19–110. After a median follow-up of 1.7 years, 12 patients are alive while 9 patients have died from progression of their underlying disease.
This study suggests that the combination of medical antifungal therapy and early surgical excision is a feasible and an effective strategy in pediatric patients with IA. In order to avoid unnecessary surgical procedures, we advise checking the response to antifungal therapy by chest-computed tomography immediately before the date of surgery. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2007;49:909–913. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.