Haematological patients with neutropenic fever are frequently evaluated with chest computed tomography (CT) to rule out invasive fungal infections (IFI). We retrospectively analysed data from 100 consecutive patients with neutropenic fever and abnormal chest CT from 1998 to 2005 to evaluate their chest CT findings and the yield of diagnostic approaches employed. For their initial CTs, 79% had nodular opacities, with 24.1% associated with the halo sign. Other common CT abnormalities included pleural effusions (48%), ground glass opacities (37%) and consolidation (31%). The CT findings led to a change in antifungal therapy in 54% of the patients. Fifty-six patients received diagnostic procedures, including 46 bronchoscopies, 25 lung biopsies and seven sinus biopsies, with a diagnostic yield for IFI of 12.8%, 35.0% and 83.3%, respectively. In conclusion, chest CT plays an important role in the evaluation of haematological patients with febrile neutropenia and often leads to a change in antimicrobial therapy. Pulmonary nodules are the most common radiological abnormality. Sinus or lung biopsies have a high-diagnostic yield for IFI as compared to bronchoscopy. Patients with IFI may not have sinus/chest symptoms, and thus, clinicians should have a low threshold for performing sinus/chest imaging, and if indicated and safe, a biopsy of the abnormal areas.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2009.01760.x
View details for PubMedID 19793207