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Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: disease pattern in central Arabia

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Despite a high prevalence of asthma in Saudi Arabia, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) has not been reported. We reviewed the medical records in a large university hospital in Saudi Arabia where thousands of asthmatics are being followed up. Over a 9-year period starting January 1986, the diagnosis of ABPA was made in 10 patients only. Delay in diagnosis was common and in some patients the disease was confused with fungal pneumonia, tuberculosis or tumours. Aspergillus fumigatus was isolated from one patient only and different Aspergillus species were cultured from respiratory secretions of the others. Corticosteroids were uniformly effective in all patients with active disease. Low humidity may account for this apparent rarity of ABPA, although it is possible that some cases are overlooked. Further work is needed on the prevalent fungi in the Arabian environment and their potential health effects and particularly on the prevalence of allergic bronchopulmonary fungal disease.
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Keywords: Saudi Arabia; allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; asthma

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine, Pulmonary Division;, 2: Department of Pathology, Immunology Division;, 3: Department of Radiology;, 4: Department of Pathology;, 5: Department of Surgery; King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Publication date: 1998-01-01

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