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The importance of risk factors for the prediction of patients with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis.

OBJECTIVE: Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a major challenge in the management of immunocompromised patients. Despite all the advances in diagnosis, it remains a problem. The purpose of our study was to investigate the risk factors associated with IPA seen in patients with hematological malignancies.

METHOD: A total of 152 febrile neutropenia (FEN) patients with hematological malignancies aged over 18 years and receiving high-dose chemotherapy or stem cell transplant between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2012 were included in the study. Sixty-five (65) cases with IPA according to the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer and Infectious Diseases Mycoses Study Group criteria were enrolled as the case group, while 87 patients without IPA development during concomitant monitoring were enrolled as the control group. Incidence of IPA was 21.4% (3/14) in patients receiving bone marrow transplant (allogeneic 2, autologous 1) and those cases were also added into the case group. The two groups were compared in terms of demographic, clinical and laboratory findings and risk factors associated with IPA investigated retrospectively.

RESULTS: Presence of relapse of primary disease, neutropenia for more than 3 weeks, presence of bacterial infection, and non-administration of antifungal prophylaxis were identified as risk factors associated with IPA.

CONCLUSION: It may be possible to reduce the incidence of the disease by eliminating preventable risk factors. Predicting those risks would, per se, enable early diagnosis and treatment and, thus, the mortality rate of these patients would unquestionably decline.

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