Endobronchial fungal disease: An under-recognized entity

Demet Karnak, Robin K. Avery, Thomas R. Gildea, Debasis Sahoo, Atul C. Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Most fungi enter the human body via inhalation; however, endobronchial fungal infection (EBFI) seems to be a rare manifestation compared to pulmonary or systemic disease. This presentation seems to be related to environmental factors as well as to the host status. With the increasing popularity of flexible bronchoscopy, it is being recognized with a higher frequency. Bronchoscopic findings in EBFI vary from mild mucosal inflammation to central airway obstruction. We searched English literature related to the topic and found 228 total cases of EBFI: Aspergillus species (121), Coccidioides immitis (38), Zygomycetes (31), Candida species (14) Cryptococcus neoformans (13), and Histoplasma capsulatum (11). We have also included a single case of endobronchial Pseudallescheria boydii infection in a lung transplant recipient that has not been reported previously. Most patients were immunocompromised, exhibited systemic manifestations of the primary infection, and responded to appropriate therapy. EBFI should be included in the differential diagnosis of any form of airway lesions in immunocompromised patients, especially among residents from the endemic areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-104
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspergillosis
  • Candidiasis
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Cryptococcosis
  • Endobronchial fungal infections
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Zygomycosis (mucormycosis)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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