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Aspergillosis of bones and joints – a review from 2002 until today

Authors

  • Philipp Koehler,

    1. 1st Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne, Zentrum für Klinische Studien (BMBF 01KN1106), CECAD – Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging–Associated Diseases, Cologne, Germany
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  • Daniela Tacke,

    1. 1st Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne, Zentrum für Klinische Studien (BMBF 01KN1106), CECAD – Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging–Associated Diseases, Cologne, Germany
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  • Oliver A. Cornely

    Corresponding author
    1. 1st Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne, Zentrum für Klinische Studien (BMBF 01KN1106), CECAD – Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging–Associated Diseases, Cologne, Germany
    • Correspondence: O. A. Cornely, 1st Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Trials Centre Cologne, ZKS Köln, BMBF 01KN1106, Center for Integrated Oncology CIO Köln/Bonn, Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases (CECAD), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

      Tel.: +49 221 478 6494. Fax: +49 221 478 3611.

      E-mail: oliver.cornely@zks-koeln.de

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Summary

Poor clinical outcome and complicated neurological complications illustrate the severity of bone and joint infections with Aspergillus species. Host predisposing conditions are immunosuppression, intravenous drug use, a variety of chronic underlying diseases and prior surgical interventions. Nosocomial infections may originate from contaminated air ventilation systems or water pipes. Most common causative pathogen is Aspergillus fumigatus, followed by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus nidulans. A. niger, A. tubingensis and A. terreus are rare but stress the need of targeted and adapted antimycotic therapy. Diagnosis has to be pursued by means of MRI imaging techniques and tissue specimens. Multimodal treatment strategy is based on a combination of surgical debridement of necrotic bone and cartilage and systemically active antifungal treatment. Voriconazole combines satisfactory systemic antifungal effect, high oral bioavailability and good bone penetration. Development of fungicidal cement spacers still continues and in vitro data show promising results of bioactive cements. Purpose of this review of literature published between 2002 and 2013 was to provide up-to-date information on pathogenesis, diagnostic approach and treatment recommendations. Properly established treatment guidelines and prophylaxis for patients at risk are required as the high mortality rate continues to pose a future challenge.

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